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BRIGHTON : 129, north street. 
New York : E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO. 








^Tbc ZIopoorapb? ot tbc Ibol? Xant): 








H. B. TRISTRAM, D.D., LL.D., F.R.S. 

C'anoti of DurlMui. 







BRIGHTON : 129, north street. 

New York : E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO. 


»" V. 




Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, 
London & Bungay. 


When this handbook was first compiled, twenty-five 
years ago, we possessed no other key to the ancient 
topography of Palestine than the ' Domesday Book ' of 
Joshua, and the — sometimes inexact — accounts of 
Josephus. Of modern explorers, we had Robinson, Van 
de Velde, and Lynch, besides others, whose work was 
rather descriptive than topographical. The Palestine 
Exploration Fund had only commenced its survey in that 
year, and no topographical results had been published. 
The writer had to rely chiefly on his own personal ob- 
servation. It is not easy to realize the prodigious ad- 
vance in our knowledge of this subject in the subsequent 
quarter of a century. To take the contemporary records 
alone. Then the Moabite Stone had just been brought to 
light. To that, after ten years, was added the Siloam in- 
scription, and the Egyptian records of Thothmes III, and 
E-ameses II. Then the translation of the Travels of a 
Mohar supplied what we may almost term a contem- 
porary itinerary of the land of Canaan, long before the 
invasion by Joshua, while the explorations of Flinders 
Petrie and Bliss, the researches of Conder, and the 
investigations of Sayce, the amazing revelations of the 
mound of Tell-el-Hesi, the stratification, not geological, 


but archseological and historical, of the story of Lachish 
for 4000 years, and the yet more amazing exhumation of 
the Foreign Office archives of the Pharaohs during the 
century of the Exodus— the documents known as the 
Tell-el-Amarna Tablets— all these have poured a flood 
of light upon Palestine topography, from the Patriarchal 
epoch downwajrds, such as not even the most sanguine 
enthusiast could have dared to dream of twenty years 


All these have been carefully noted, and the results 
incorporated in the new edition, which, consequently, 
has been largely increased in bulk, and contains about 
150 names in addition to those comprised in the latest 
previous impression. 

Thus, step by step, is modern research setting forth 
more and more distinctly the minute accuracy of God's 
Word in matters of detail, and shedding light upon 
the framework in which its dogmatic revelations are 

The College, Durham, 
Novemher 23, 1896. 


The object of the Author in sending forth this small 
volume, is to afford, in a compendious form, a short 
account of every place in the Holy Land mentioned in 
Scripture, of which the site has been more or less satis- 
factorily identified. The work is especially intended 
for such as have neither time nor opportunity to refer 
to larger treatises on the geography of Palestine. In 
order, therefore, to keep the volume within the pre- 
scribed limits, all disquisitions on the reasons for the 
determination of the various sites have as much as 
possible been avoided, and the writer has generally 
confined himself to the statement of his conclusions, 
which have not been arrived al: without the most careful 
examination and weighing of evidence. He does not, 
however, pretend to invariable accuracy, and he is fully 
aware that some of his determinations may be called in 
question. Some mistakes will probably be found, but 
in all cases he has availed himself of the latest authori- 
ties, wherever his personal investigations in the country 
have not reached. 

The chapters have been arranged, and the places 
described in groups, according rather to the physical 
geography of the country than to its political divisions. 


But in most instances these are nearly identical, and 
the outlines of the tribal boundaries were generally- 
guided by the natural features of the land. The exami- 
nation of the country commences naturally with the 
south country of Judah, the portion first touched after 
the Exodus from Egypt, and which though now, through 
the researches of Professor Palmer, accurately mapped, 
has been, until within the last few months, a complete 
blank in our knowledge of Scripture geography. 

The Book of Joshua, ' the Domesday Book of Israel,' 
is our best guide to the ancient topography, and every 
name which there occurs has been referred to, and, 
when possible, identified. All other places which, 
omitted there, are found in the subsequent sacred 
writers, have been also, as far as possible, noticed and 
traced. Such has been the marvellous persistency of 
the Semitic names, that after a lapse of more than 
t3300 years, wherever the land has been carefully ex- 
amined, scarce a single village, however insignificant, 
is wanting in the modern Arabic nomenclature ; and 
there is every reason to expect that the survey now 
being carried out by the Palestine Exploration Fund 
will restore to our knowledge, under its Arabic form, 
every name of city, village, or hill which occurs in the 
inspired history of the chosen people. 

All research, whether topographical, physical, or 
archaeological, has uniformly illustrated the intense 
accuracy of Old Testament history and description ; 
and the Author can only pray that this little book may 
serve in the nil)lo student's lumd, how(^ver humbly, to 
the advancement of Scriptural knowledge and to the 
greater glory of God. 


Decevibcr 27, 1H71. 


Another edition of this little work being called for, 
the Author has most carefully revised it, making full use 
of the very important reports and memoirs of the officers 
of the Palestine Exploration Fund during the past two 

Although more than a hundred insertions and altera- 
tions will be found in this edition, yet it is satisfactory 
to note that with few exceptions they are identifications 
of sites hitherto unknown, but now recovered through 
the labours of the Survey, and but very few are correc- 
tions of former statements. One of the most interesting 
features of the recent discoveries of the P. E. F. officers 
is the clear evidence indicated that the lists of the cities 
of the various tribes in the Book of Joshua are given 
in strict topographical sequence. Much new light has 
thus been cast on the geography of Palestine. Some 
of the proposed identifications the Author has not yet 
incorporated, being loth to insert conjectures unsup- 
ported by evidence which doubtless will be hereafter 
forthcoming. There is still much to be learnt on that 
sacred soil. Not a rock-hewn tomb, nor a grass-grown 
mound, but holds the dust of Israel, and " Thy servants 
take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof." 

The College, Durham, 
December 31, 1877. 








































CojDOigrapbn oiiht M)oln ICant) 



The going up out of Egypt — Desert of Tih — "Wilderness of Paran — Kibroth 
Hattaavah — Hazeroth — Kadesh Barnea — Ai/n Qadeea — Eshcol — Beer-lahai-roi 
— Hagar's Well — Rithmah — Hormah — Zephath — Akrabbim — Eboda — Adar — 
Hezron — River of Egypt — Azraon — Wady el Areesh — South Country, or 
Negeb — Negeb of Kenites — of Judah — of Philistines — Gerar — Origin of the 
Philistines — Sitnah — Tribe of Simeon — HehohotYi—Ruheibeh — Description 
of the South Country — Kabzeel — Kenites — Kinah — Dimonah — Ararah — Ziph 
— Telem— Bealoth — Hadattah — Kerioth-Hezron— Shema — Moladah— Wells 
— Hazor-Gaddah — Heshmon — Hazor-Shual — Beersheba — Azim — El Tolad — 
Chesil — Ziklag — Shilhim — Ain-Rimmofi. 

The consideration of the topography of the Holy Land, 
or, as it was called before the conquest by Joshua, the 
Land of Canaan, the modern Palestine, may best be 
commenced from the southern extremity, the point first 
touched by the Israelites, within a few months of their 
exodus from Egypt when they attempted their unsuccess- 
ful advance from Kadesh Barnea. 

The passage from Egypt is frequently spoken of as the 
" going up " out of Egypt. In order to understand how 
strictly accurate is the term, we must remember that, 



after leaving Sinai and traversing the Desert of the Wan- 
derings, or the " Tih," in a northerly direction, the low 
ranges of hills which are successively reached present the 
appearance of a succession of gigantic terraces, or steps, 
running from east to west. These are formed by the 
gradual expansion and depression of the great mountain 
range of the Lebanon, which, as it runs down between the 
Mediterranean and the Jordan Yalley, forms successively 
the mountain region of Galilee, the hill country of 
Samaria, and the hill country of Judsea. Extending from 
Hebron, it spreads over the south country, widening as it 
is traced southward, as if the hills had been pressed down 
to the east and west, and exhibiting no central crest like 
that which forms the watershed from Lebanon to Hebron. 

In travelling northwards from Sinai, there is a 
graduated ascent through the Wilderness of the 
AVanderings, now called the Desert of Et Tih, dykes of 
porphyry separating the pink granite region of the 
Sinaitic range from the sandstone district, into which 
we rise over the Jebel et Tih, a long limestone range run- 
ning east and west, and which gradually shelves up into 
the plateau of the same name. A similar range of lime- 
stone ridges, with the same general direction, forms the 
boundary between the Tih and the " Negeb," or south 
country of Judah. But this range is much less regular 
in its outline than the frontier ridge south of the plateau, 
and forms a vast bay receding northwards in the centre. 
All along the edge of this ridge the country for many 
miles, as it sinks into the true Desert, is now sterile and 
barren, yet not utterly desolate. It present traces of a 
I)rimeval race of inhabitants, probably the Amalekites, in 
the cairns and stone huts which have been explored and 
described l)y Messrs. Holland and Palmer. 

The arc which forms the northern boundary of the 
Desert may be said to spring from the western side of 
the Wady Arab;ih, opposite to Petra, thence winding in 



a north-westerly direction nearly to Sebaita, the ancient 
llormah, and then curv^es to the south-west to the Wady 
el Arish due west of Petra. Into this bay of the wilder- 
ness the children of Israel would seem to have marched 
at an early period of their w^anderings. The western face 
of this plateau was that " mountain of the Amorites " 
spoken of by Moses as the southern limit of the Land of 
Promise : '' We came to Kadesh Barnea. And I said 
unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amor- 
ites, which the Lord our God doth give v^nto us " (Deut. 
i. 19, 20). 

The desert plain south and east of this was the Wil- 
derness of Paran, which commenced where the Wilder- 
ness of Sinai ended, i. e. it was the limestone region now 
known as the Desert of Tih, i.e. "the pathless." To 
the north and east of this the Wilderness of Zin gradually 
sloped tow^ards the Arabah and Dead Sea. The northern 
barrier of the Desert of Paran or Tih, which forms the 
terrace of the " Negeb " or south country of Judah, is 
well described by Williams as "a gigantic natural ram- 
part of lofty mountains, w^hich we could trace for many 
miles east and west of the spot on which we stood, 
whose precipitous promontories of naked rock, forming, 
as it were, bastions of Cyclopean architecture, jutted 
forth in irregular masses from the mountain barrier 
into the southern wilderness, a confused chaos of chalk." 
We can well understand how, with this barrier in front 
of them, the children of Israel always spoke of " going 
up" into Canaan. 

The whole of the range of steppes lying to the west of 
the Desert of Tih, though now arid and comparatively 
barren, yields evidence of having once sustained a not 
inconsiderable population. From lat. 29'' 30' there are 
continual traces of tombs, wells, forts, and other ruins. 
It is worth}/' of remark that Prof. Palmer found at the 
ruins at Contellet Garaiyeh, more than thirty miles 


south-west of Kadesh Barnea, jars built into walls, and 
frames with mortices, beams, etc. Now all these old 
beams were of shittim wood (seyal) ; and at the present 
day there is but one solitary seyal tree in the whole 
Desert of Tih. The face of the country must have been 
strangely changed by the destruction of the timber. 

From this spot, as we travel north to the site of 
Kadesh Barnea, we are on the frontier line of the old 
"south country" of Judah, the Negeb. It is a moun- 
tain region with many groups of hills, among which the 
wadys or valleys, that take their rise at the edge of the 
crest, meander westward to the sea. These, of course, 
are much more fertile than the open plain. 

The distance from Sinai to the foot of this mountain 
range is only about 150 miles, or as Moses tells us (Deut. 
i. 2), eleven days' journey. Yet between Sinai and Ezim- 
Geber, less than two-thirds of the whole distance, under 
100 miles, twenty camping stations are enumerated in 
Numbers (ch. xxxiii). This implies not only that the 
Israelites marched slowly with their cattle, but also 
that they must have made many detours, doubtless in 
search of forage for their flocks and herds. It is not to 
be expected that many of these stations could now be 
identified. Some few may be traced. The first was 
Kihroth JTattaavah, called afterwards Taherah, " place of 
burning," a three days' journey from Sinai (Numb. x. 
33). Palmer has pointed out a vast camping plain 
called by the Arabs " Erweis el Ebririg," and covered 
for miles with the oblong circles of stone, that mark 
an ancient camp, as the probable locality. It lies 
about thirty miles north-east of Rahali, and meets all 
the conditions of the problem, confirmed too by an Arab 
local tradition. 

The next stage, a few miles further in a north-oast direc- 
tion, was Ifazeroth (Numb. xi. 35). The word Ifazeroth 
(the plural of Hazor) simply means enclosures, or open, 


loose villages, the low circles of stones, on which the 
Bedouins, to this day, are in the habit of pitching their 
tents, when about to encamp for a longer time than merely 
for a few days. All along this route there are great 
numbers of these Hazeroth or ancient enclosures. They 
are always on a hill-side, or in some sheltered spot, while 
the tombs or cairns are invariably on the crest of a hill. 

The identity of this Hazeroth with Ayn Hudhera, a 
magnificent spring in an oasis, surrounded by moun- 
tains, cleft only in one spot, is admitted by all. It is 
more than thirty miles from Er Rahah. The succeeding 
stations we cannot trace, but it is implied (Numb. xii. 
16) that they were in the wilderness of Paran, a differ- 
ent wilderness from that of Sinai (Numb. x. 12), and 
identical with the modern Et Tih. Rithnah, i. e. place 
of the Retem (a desert shrub often called "broom"), is 
probably the original name of Kadesh, i. e. "the holy," 
which was given to it after its consecration by its being 
the resting-place of the Tabernacle. Moreover, the 
name Rithmah still remains in the Arabic vernacular of 
the valley in which lies Ayn Qadees, Wady Abou 
Retemat. Along the edge here, the Canaanites and 
Amorites watching them from the upper defiles, the 
Israelites marched on their first direct journey from 
Sinai after leaving Hazeroth. 

About twenty-five miles south of Kadesh stone circles 
similar to those of Kibroth Hattaavah are innumerable, 
and cover the whole Valley of Mayin. Close to this, in 
another valley, are later ruins, belonging doubtless to 
one of the unidentified cities of Southern Judah, now 
called Lussan. The valley has been terraced, and the 
water carefully regulated and distributed through the 
enclosed patches of ground. It has been inhabited in 
the Roman period ; and there yet remains a house, with 
chambers, courtyard, and an archway perfect. 

From Lussan, a day's journey brings us to Ayn Qadees, 


at the head of the Wady Qadees, the name being the exact 
Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Kadesli (i. e. a sacred 
city or separated place). It is just at the frontier of 
the south country of Judah, of which it is the key 
strategically, as its identification is the key topographi- 
cally, to this part of the history of the wanderings. It 
exactly answers to the description of the Bible ; the 
Israelites waiting, as it were, on the threshold of the 
southern portion of the Promised Land : and, from 
the evidence on all sides, we may fairly conclude that 
the surrounding country was better supplied with water 
than it is now ; and that it was, therefore, at least as 
suitable for the encampment of the Israelitish hosts as 
any spot in Sinai. 

It is strange that this site, the pivot point of the 
topography of the later portion of the wanderings, 
should haye remained undiscovered until within the last 
few years. The first modern traveller to visit and 
identify it was the Rev. J. Rowlands, whose account 
was first published by his friend Canon Williams in 
1845. But it passed almost unnoticed until Dr. H. C. 
Trumbull, the American biblical archaeologist, revisited 
it, and established the identification beyond question in 
1883. Mr. Rowlands thus describes the appearance 
of the southern mountain barrier of Palestine, as they 
approached from Hebron, along the great plain of Es 
Serr, the Seir of Deut. i. 44. " We found ourselves 
standing on a gigantic natural rampart of lofty moun- 
tains, which we could trace distinctly for many miles 
east and west of the spot on which we stood ; whose 
}>rocipitous promontories of naked rock, forming, as it 
were, bastions of cyclopean architecture, jutted forth in 
irregular masses from the mountain barrier into a 
frigljtfully terrific wilderness (the Wilderness of Z'ni), 
Htretching far before us towards the south. . . . There 
did not appear to be the least particle of vegotatit)n in 


all the dreary waste ; all was drought, and barrenness, 
and desolation." This is Mowit Halak (Josh. xi. 17, and 
xii. 7), "that goeth up to /Seir/' Halak signifies " the 
bald/' or " smooth " mountain. It was up this mountain 
that the spies, sent by Moses, climbed : " Get you up 
this way southward (^. e. towards the Negeb, or south 
land), and go up into the mountain." ''They ascended 
by the south (by way of the Negeb), and came unto 
Hebron" (Numb. xiii. 17). Below this is the Wady 
Qadees, an irregular, hill-encircled plain several miles 
wide, and a day's journey from west to east, large 
enough for the camp of Chedorlaomer, or for all the 
host of Israel. East of it is Jebel Qadees ; the centre 
is well watered in winter, and rich crops of wheat and 
barley are grown. The Wady Qadees soon becomes a 
desert, and waterless, until we reach a scarcely perceptible 
opening to the limestone ridge, through which we turn 
sharply to the north. " Almost immediately," writes Dr. 
Trumbull, " the long-sought wells of Qadees were before 
our eyes. It was a marvellous sight ! out from the 
barren and desolate stretch of the burning desert waste, 
we had come with magical suddenness into an oasis of 
verdure and beauty unlooked for and hardly conceiv- 
able in such a region. A carpet of grass covered the 
ground ; fig-trees laden with fruit, nearly ripe enough 
for eating, were along the shelter of the southern hill- 
side. Shrubs and flowers showed themselves in variety 
and profusion. Running water gurgled under the 
waving grass. Standing out from the earth-covered 
limestone hills, at the north-eastern sweep of this 
picturesque recess, was to be seen, the large single mass, 
or a small hill of solid rock, pointed out by Rowlands 
as the clilf smitten by Moses, to cause it to give forth 
its water. From underneath this ragged spur of the 
north-easterly mountain range issued the now abundant 
stream." The stream first flows into a circular well, 


like those at Beerslieba, and then, a little further on, 
into a second, but larger, by which is a marble watering- 
trough ; then a third pool, which is used as a watering- 
place ; and, again, a fourth and larger, lower down, 
beyond which the water flows under the grass until it 
loses itself in the open wady beyond. The exact position 
is 31° 34' N. lat. and 43° 31' E. long. It has been 
marked out by nature to be a meeting-place and 
sanctuary of the desert tribes. Its central position, its 
security from sudden attack, and its abundant supply of 
water, all combined to make it the En-Mishpat, or 
" Spring of Judgment," where cases were tried and laws 

We are here on one of the most interesting spots in 
early Scripture history. It is first mentioned in Gen. 
xiv. 7, in the account of the foray of Chedorlaomer, who 
crossed from Seir, or Petra, to Kadesh, defeated the 
Amorites, and then turned back to the north-east to 
Hazezon Tmaar, or Engedi, by the Dead Sea. The 
Horites, or Cave-men, whom he smote, have left their 
traces, not only in Mount Seir, but in many parts of the 
Wilderness of Paran, where the cave-dwellings may still 
be distinctly traced, as Mr. Holland has shown. It is 
next mentioned in Gen. xvi. 14, as marking the situa- 
tion of Hagar's Well, Beer-lahai-roi, which lay between 
Kadesh and Bered, identified with some probability with 
the Elusa of Greek writers, now el-Khalasah. It lies 
about twelve miles south east of Beerslieba, in a plain, 
utterly deserted, yet having a fine well, whose water 
never fails, surrounded by ancient cattle troughs, and 
ruins of the Koman period covering an area of fifteen or 
twenty acres. Hence Joshua and Caleb, with their 
companions, were sent to spy out the country, and hither 
they returned with the gra2)es of Eshcol and their report 
of the land. Here broke out the murmuring ; and here, 
after those who had brought up an evil ri>port died of 


the plague, began the forty years' penal wandering in 
the wilderness. Hence, stung with shame and sudden 
remorse, the people, against the exhortations of Moses 
and without the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, 
went up against the Amalekites and the Canaanites, and 
were defeated and discomfited even unto Hormah (Numb, 
xiv.). Hither Israel returned after the rebellion of 
Korah ; and here Miriam died and was buried (Numb. 
XX. 1). 

Josephus states that she was buried on a certain 
mountain called Shin. To the west of the fountain, on 
the north side of Wady Kadees, there is a peak bearing 
the name Umm 'Asheen, which may be the Shin of 

There is one objection to the identification of Ayn 
Qadees with Kadesh, and that is the fact of the spies 
having brought grapes from Eschol, which has ordinarily 
been placed close to Hebron, and is, therefore, far too 
distant for the conveyance of grapes, especially by men 
travelling cautiously as spies. But Prof. Palmer 
observes it is a curious fact, that among the most 
striking characteristics of the Negeb are miles of hill- 
sides and valleys, covered with the small stone heaps, in 
regular swathes, along which the grapes were trained, 
and which still retain the name of teleildt-el-^anahor or 
grape-mounds. 1 Qadees, then, answers every condition 
oi the history. Israel had nothing but the wilderness 
around them and no formidable hostile peoples in their 

Turning west-north-west from Kadesh, we come, at a 
distance of about fifteen miles, to Ain Muweileh, a 
spring, in the valley at the foot of the mountains, which 
has, with some reason, been identified with Beer-lahai- 
o'oi, Hagar's Well. The slopes of the hills are covered 
with ruins, their crests with cairns, and their sides 
^ See also Land of Israel, p. 297. 


studded with cave-dwellings, and at the spot itself has 
evidently stood one of "the cities of the south," which 
has been inhabited down to Christian times, as chapels 
and crosses painted on the walls still remain. The 
Arabs have a tradition that Hagar dwelt here ; which, if 
it be a mere legend, yet is interesting as one of the 
oldest in a country which has hardly yet been touched 
by strangers. We must not forget that it was here too 
that Isaac sojourned (Gen. xxiv. 62; xxv. 11), both 
before and after the death of his father ; and that in 
the wide pastures below, between Kadesh and ShuVj 
Abraham kept his flocks and herds. 

The chain of mountains here running north and south 
is still known as Jebel-es-Sur. 

Just below this is the Wady Erthama, or Kithma, 
probably the very site of the Israelitish station of 
Rithmah, corresponding to the first sojourn at Kadesh, 
and near Hazeroth (Numb, xxxiii. 18); and where 
there is a remarkable rock, with a spring bursting forth 
at its foot. 

After the defeat of Israel near Kadesh, we are told 
(Numb, xiv, 45) the Canaanites chased them unto 
Hormah. Hormah seems, with reason, identified with 
the ruins of ^Jebaita, twenty-four miles north of Kadesh. 
It is on the very northern extremity of the Wilderness 
of Paran. It has been a place of importance down to 
the Christian period, and contains very perfect ruins of 
three churches, with fresco paintings still to be traced 
on an arched niclie in one of them. The houses are all 
of one type : small arched chambers with niches here 
and there, and a little courtyard. Many of the walls 
stand from twenty to twenty-five feet high ; and there 
are more than twenty-five streets or alleys plainly to be 
traced. Nearly every house has its well ; and they are 
also conveniently placed in all the (corners of the public 
places. The outer wall, or fortification, still remains, 


and there are traces of an older and very thick wall 
outside it, which once surrounded the town. Surround- 
ing the city for a considerable distance may be traced 
the once well-kept and fruitful gardens, when the hills 
around were covered with orchards of pomegranates and 
other fruits, and with terraces of clustering vines. Near 
the centre of the city stands a strong tower, or block- 
house, built of massive stone with arches for its several 

About three and a half miles north-west of this 
stands the ruined fortress of El Meshrifeh, i. e. the 
watch-tower, placed on a most commanding position on 
the top of a hill, protected by five large towers and the 
rocks on all sides cut down in escarpments, with bastions. 
The masonry is very solid and compact, and the blocks 
are of immense size. The walls are, for the most part, 
of unhewn stones. The hills all round are covered with 
vine-terraces and ruined enclosures for cultivation, and 
w4th wine-presses ; and every little gully is carefully 
embanked and built up with rude masonry. Every- 
where advantage has been taken of every scrap of 
ground for agriculture. 

Zephath and Hormali have always been considered 
identical. " Judah went with Simeon his brother, and 
they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and 
utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was 
called Hormah" (Judg. i. 17). Now Zephath signifies a 
watch-tower, and, as has been said, El Meshrifeh 
exactly corresponds with this, both in its position and 
in the meaning of the name. But Sebaita is the Arabic 
equivalent for Zephath. May we not, therefore, under- 
stand the word Zephath in its proper signification, and 
consider the " city " as separate from the tower or 
fortress thus attacked and destroyed 1 The city, pro- 
tected by so commanding a fort, might well be spoken 
of as the City of the Tower. Probably, therefore, in El 


Meshrifeh we see the site of ZepJicith itself, and in 
Sebaita that of the city of Zephath, to which the 
Israelites, after their victory, gave the name of Hormali. 
Zephath first occurs in history in the list of places 
captured by Thothmes III., king of Egypt, in his 
expedition against Syria in the twenty-second year of 
his reign, and preserved on the walls of the temple at 
Karnak. This list of Thothmes is invaluable in study- 
ing the nomenclature and topography of Canaan before 
its conquest by Joshua. Zephath seems to be the place 
called " Tzafta " (its Egyptian phonetic equivalent) in 
the list. The date of Thothmes is generally computed 
to have been about 1600 B.C., long before the Exodus. 
But as the Ishmaelite has, through all the revolutions 
and vicissitudes of history, kept hovering in the neigh- 
bourhood, he has preserved to this day, in his vernacular, 
the old Canaanitish name of Zephath. This was one of 
the towns of Simeon, whose possessions were scattered 
among those of his brother Judah in the south (Josh. 
xix. 1—9). 

Having thus found the locality of Kadesh Barnea, we 
are easily able to trace the southern frontier line of 
Judah eastward (Josh, x v. 1 — 4). It went "even to 
the border of Edom (Petra) ; the AVilderness of Z'ui 
southward was the uttermost part of the south coast ; 
and their south border was from the shore of the Salt 
Sea, from the bay (or tongue) that looketh southward. 
It went out to the south side to the going up to Akrab- 
hini, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the 
south side to Kadesh Barnea." 

The southern bay of the Salt Sea is evidently the 
southern Ohor, or dead level plain, which reaches twelve 
miles to the mouths of Wadys Eikreh and J oil). Hero 
it would join the frontier of Edom. Thence it trended 
south-west (" went out on the south side ") by the course 
of the Wady Fikreh to the steep passes of Ks Safah or 


Akrahhitn. Hence the frontier touched the Wilderness 
of Zi}) by the Wady Marreh ; and still, according to the 
Domesday Book of Joshua, trending south as it ran 
west, reached to Kadesh Barnea (Qadees), the extreme 
point of Israelitish territory. 

The Wady Marreh and Es Safah stand bold and high ; 
the wady heading the southern edge of the plain and 
descending very rapidly to a level more than 400 feet 
lower down, Es Safah standing boldly forth on a moun- 
tain spur 850 feet above the plain, with the extensive 
ruins of Abdeh, the Ehoda of the ancients, but not 
mentioned in Scripture, nor certainly identified with 
any city of Judah. It must have been a place of 
importance and great strength. But the Desert has 
reassumed its rights — the intrusive hand of cultivation 
has been driven back — the race that dwelt here have 
perished, and their works now look abroad in loneliness 
and silence over the mighty waste. 

Proceeding westward from Kadesh, the boundary line 
" passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar {Ilazar- 
addali — Numb, xxxiv. 4), and fetched a compass to 
Karkaa. And from thence it passed toward ^^mo?^ and 
went out unto the river (Nachal) of Egypt, and the 
goings out of that coast were at the sea " (Josh. xv. 

The researches of Dr. Trumbull have afforded reason- 
able identification of all the places named on this 
boundary line. Hezron, another form of Hazor, or 
Hazeroth, i. e. stone enclosures, may be translated, with 
the LXX., the stone-encircled place. These desert cities, 
which are found all through Arabia and North Africa, 
have been used in all ages by the Arabs in regions 
exposed to attack. They pitch their tents in a circle, 
with their cattle and goods in the centre. The whole is 
then surrounded by a dry stone wall, studded with the 
branches of thorny desert trees, forming an impenetrable 


hedge. We are told of the Avims, who occupied this 
very region, that they dwelt in Hazerim, i. e. stone 
enclosures, all the way along to Gaza. The remains of 
these Hazerim are still to be seen in unusual numbers 
on the wady leading from Qadees to Qadayrat, and 
called the Wady el Qadayrat. They would form a 
notable landmark, and probably represent the Hezron 
of the text. Ayn el Qadayrat, which we would identify 
with Ada7', the Hazar-Addah of Numbers, is the most 
abundant fountain of the desert border. It bursts 
forth unexpectedly, turning the wilderness into a stand- 
ing water, from the side of the hill, with a fall of a few 
feet, feeding a pool, and forming an oasis round it. The 
name signifies the " fountain of Omnipotence." Thence 
the boundary fetched a compass to KarTcaa, "the bottom 
or deep ground." This would seem to be found in the 
bed of an extensive water basin, connected with the 
Wady el 'Ayn, enclosed on all sides by continuous 
ranges of hills. Hence it passed to Azmon, now known 
as the Wady Qasaymeh. The water which fills its wells 
springs from a rocky spur of the mountain range. A 
few miles west of this, the boundary of Judah reaches 
the Wady el 'Areesh, the river of Egypt of the text, 
which forms the limit of the land of promise till it 
reaches the sea. 

But, following to the south for a distance of fifty 
miles, there are the ruins of many cities, visited by 
Prof. Palmer, in a region hitherto untouched, such as 
Qaraiyeh and Lussan, which he has described, which 
furnish sites for many cities, before reaching the Wady 
el Areesh, if that be the " river of Egypt." 

Commentators are divided as to whether to assign the 
name to this wady, running to the sea from lat. 30°, or 
to refer it to the Nile. It must bo remembered that 
from El Areesh to the frontier of Egypt is absolutely 
desert, and that tlie nomad tribes which roamed over it 


were tributary sometimes to Egypt and sometimes to 
Syria, and, in the days of David and Solomon, to the 
Jewish monarchy. But in some passages, when the 
Nile is spoken of, the word *'nahr" (river) is used; 
and " nachal " is, strictly, only a winter torrent such as 
the Areesh. We may be content, then, to take this, the 
furthest limit of ancient civilization till the frontier of 
Egypt was reached, as the old boundary line of Judah 
and Simeon, since no settlements can have existed 
beyond it. It is a boundary drawn by nature, on the 
north of which is cultivation, on the south desert. Even 
when there is no water in the wady, it may alw^ays be 
found by sinking to a moderate depth. 

Having thus traced the southern frontier of Judah, 
with which Simeon was intermingled, we may next 
follow the topography of these tribes in detail. Their 
portion — the largest and, in many respects, the most 
important of all the Holy Land — is divided into three 
regions, which are always distinguished by name in 
Holy Writ, and wdiich have very distinct natural or 
physical characteristics. They are : I. The south country 
or Negeb ; by which Hebrew name we shall distinguish 
it. II. The low country or Shephelah, i. e. the Philistian 
plain on the sea coast. III. The hill country of Judtea 
in the north. 

The Negeb. — This extends along the whole southern 
frontier from east to west. It is spoken of when 
Abram went up out of Egypt into the south; when 
he went on his journeys from the south even unto 
Bethel, etc. (Gen. xii. 9 ; xiii, 1, 3) ; as where Isaac 
lived (xxiv. 62) ; and was inhabited by the Amalekites 
before the conquest. It was the region in which David 
wandered, under the protection of the Philistines, during 
his outlawry. In the record of his expedition against 
Eehoboam, which Shishak has left sculptured on the 
wall of the temple of Karnak, among the provinces and 


places conquered by him, he mentions the Is egeb no less 
than three times. It is an irregularly shaped tract, 
extending from the mountains of Judah on the north to 
the edge of the Desert of Paran, and from the south end 
of the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean ; but stretching 
in a sloping direction towards the north-east to the 
Dead Sea, and to the south-west to El Arish, thus 
occupying a middle position, both topographically and 
physically, between the rich soil of central Canaan 
and the sandy wastes of that great and terrible wilder- 

The " Negeb " itself was also subdivided into three 
districts. (1) A small district, allotted to the descend- 
ants of Jethro, called (1 Sam. xxvii. 10) the south of the 
Kenites. We read (Judg. i. 16) : "The children of the 
Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up . . . into the 
wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad, 
and they went and dwelt among the people." Here 
they were found by Saul, when he was sent to exter- 
minate the Amalekites (1 Sam. xv. 6). To them, 
among the other inhabitants of the Negeb, David sent 
presents from Ziklag (1 Sam. xxx. 29). There is no 
difficulty in identifying Arad with Tell 'Arad, a white- 
crowned hill, with traces of ruins, a day's journey west 
of the south end of the Dead Sea. The ruins of Khirbit 
'Ader, south of Gaza, seem to preserve the name of 
Eder, the second city of Judah in the south, mentioned 
by Joshua, and which does not occur elsewhere. 

(2) The south of Judah (2 Sam. xxiv. 7 ; 2 Chron. 
xxviii. 18). By far the largest portion of the region, 
including nearly the whole of the allotment of Simeon, 
Ktretchinfj: south-west from Arad to Kadesh. 

(3) The south of the Cherethites or Philistines (1 Sam. 
xxx. 1, 14, 16), lying to the south-west as far as the 
upper part of the Wady el Areesh or Kivor of Egypt, 
and deriving its name from the Philistines having 


formerly occupied it. It comprised the fine pastoral 
land lying south-west of Beersheba and west of Kadesh, 
and was known, in the time of Abraham, as the kingdom 
of Gerar. Light is thrown on the subsequent history 
of this region by a casual expression in 1 Chron. iv. 39, 
where we read that the Simeonites " went to the entrance 
of Gedor . . . and found fat pasture and good, and the 
land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable ; for they of 
Ham (i. e. the Mizraimite Philistines, or Cherethites, 
from Caphtor) had dwelt there of old." (" Gedor " 
appears an error of the transcriber for Gerar — the 
Hebrew letters being very similar ("1 *t) — and the LXX. 
corroborates this by reading Gerar.) 

There is some little difficulty in the identification of 
the people who inhabited the region of which Gerar was 
the capital, in the time of Abraham. The nation over 
which Abimelech ruled was evidently a pastoral people, 
but at the time of the Exodus the region was in the occu- 
pation of the Philistines, who (Deut. ii. 23) had expelled 
the Avims, having come from Caphtor. It is a moot 
question whence these Caphtorim originated, but it 
seems probable that Caphtor was the island of Crete, 
now Candia. The Philistines whom Joshua found 
were new comers. All through the eighteenth and 
nineteenth Egyptian dynasties, Egypt had held the 
country, and Gaza was considered the frontier fortress 
of Egypt. We know, from the Tel-Amarna tablets, that, 
as late as the reign of Menephthah, the son of the Pharaoh 
of the oppression, Gaza was an Egyptian frontier 
garrison, governed by Egyptian officers. It was not 
till the time of Rameses III., about B.C. 1200, that the 
Philistines or Pelesatu appear ; they form part of the 
hordes from Asia Minor and the Greek islands, who 
over-ran Syria, and attacked the valley of the Nile. 
Their irruption cannot have been long before the Exodus, 
at which time, probably, the struggle was proceeding 


18 telBLte PLACES 

(see Ex. xiii. 17). The Abimelech then of Abraham's 
day, was king of a people who inhabited the country 
afterwards held by the Philistines, and who were thus 
their earlier representatives. Gerar had, long before, 
been a place of importance, as it is mentioned by 
Thothmes III. in the list of his conquests. At the 
time of the Exodus, the Amalekites from the desert 
seem to have encroached upon it. Its interest, however, 
centres in the history of Abraham and the Patriarchs. 

Afterwards it is only once mentioned, when Asa 
(2 Chron. xiv. 13) defeated and pursued the Ethiopian 
invader Zerah. From the spoil of tents, sheep, and 
camels, we see that, though protected by cities or 
fortress-towns, it was the same pastoral region it had 
been when Abraham sojourned there and digged wells 
for his flocks. Here, probably, Isaac was born : here 
was his favourite residence. The name still remains ; 
and the. Wady Jerur, a little south of Muweileh or 
Hagar's Well, with a magnificent prospect and vast 
rolling plains, covered with herbage, and many ruins 
on the hills above it, indicates the camping-ground of 
the Father of the Faithful. On the Tell Jerur I counted 
more than thirty ancient wells within an area of a few 
acres, all long since choked. North of this wady, all 
the way to Beersheba, is a long line of ruined cities and 
of old wells. 

We may here trace Isaac's course. Driven northwards 
from Gerar J he sank wells in the wadys, first at Eseky 
then at Sitiiah. The Well of Sitiiah has been identified 
by Prof. Palmer with the modern name of Shutneh, a 
very little way west of Kuheibeh or l\ehobot/i, mentioned 
by Tliothmes III. among his conquests. 

Still pressed by tlio Philistine herdsmen he proceeded 
north to llchoboth, and finally to Beersheba (Gen. xxvi. 
6 — 23). The vernacular names atill enable us to trace 
his course. More than half-way between Jeriir and 


Beersheba we find the ruins and well of Buheibeh, the 
Arabic equivalent of Jiehohoth. There are many towers 
and ruins around, some of them still twenty feet higli ; 
and round the well are troughs and other masonry, of 
immense proportions, and, seemingly, of very great 
antiquity. The well had soon collected a settled popu- 
lation, for the town has been four hundred yards long. 
The w^ell itself may certainly be that of Isaac, from its 
appearance : much larger and more ancient-looking than 
any others in the region. Thus each of the three Patri- 
archs has left wells for the benefit of posterity at Beer- 
sheba, Behoboth, and Shechem. The striving of the 
Philistines for the wells sunk may be easily understood, 
from the certainty that such wells would attract settled 
inhabitants and stimulate the planting and tillage of the 
soil : thus, in time, setting up claims of proprietorship 
at variance with the interests of the nomad pastoral 

The well Prof. Palmer identifies with Kehohoth, and 
described above, is not at the ruins called Buheibeh, but 
near them. The name, though now confined to one spot, 
may be a reminiscence of a more general title. Travel- 
lers in this region have differed in their descriptions of 
this well, for the simple reason that wells here are very 
many, and that no two have examined the same. 

We may now proceed to consider the characteristics 
of the Negeb of Judah, having examined the sites of the 
south of the Kenites and of the south of the Philistines. 

The south differs from the hill country to the north of 
it, not merely so much in being pastoral instead of 
cultivated, for its whole extent yields proof of very 
extensive though not universal cultivation in former 
times ; nor in its being less hilly, for it has but few 
plains of any extent ; but in its deep ravines, torn and 
rent by winter torrents (a2)hikim)^ " the streams of the 
south" of Ps. cxxvi. 4. These torrents, quite dry in 


summer, cut narrow gullies out of steep cliffs by their 
violence in winter. On the w^est side they drain towards 
the Areesh and Philistia, on the east towards the 
Dead Sea, none running south into Paran or the 

The wide central expanse is now a sort of upward 
wilderness, a series of rolling hills, with scanty herbage, 
more abundant on their northern slopes, but without a 
tree or a bush more than three feet high. Occasionally, 
by a well, the rich soil, scratched for barley or wheat, 
shows that with care, as in the days of Isaac, it might 
still yield a hundredfold. It was especially the land of 
the lion (Isa. xxx. 6), which, unlike the leopard, prefers 
dry, open land ; of the scorpion, whence the name 
Akrabbim (or scorpions) ; of sand vipers, which still 
swarm there ; while the beasts of burden were asses and 
camels — not oxen. The camel ceases to be employed 
when we reach the hill country, and the ox takes its 

Besides the places which have been already mentioned, 
there are no less than twenty-nine cities, with their vil- 
lages, in the south, assigned by Joshua to Judali and 
►Simeon. Probably every one of these survive, covering 
many acres with ruins which might, with very slight 
labour, be again rendered habitable : with oil-presses 
and wine-presses lying at their gates; containing cisterns, 
leservoirs, and conduits still perfect and beautifully 
cemented, with a rich soil in the lower grounds ; in short, 
everything that might l)e supposed to attract a settled 
population. Nearly all these cities have been identified, 
with more or less pro1)ability. 

Yet, throughout the wliole extent of the south country, 
thickly strewn us it is with traces of its former occu])ants, 
and peopled with hardy tribes who j^fty but a nominal 
allegiance to the Turkish government, there is not so 
much as a single inhabited village. Not until the traveller 


has fairly crossed its northern boundary and entered the 
hill country, does this strange spectacle of deserted towns 
and a houseless population cease to arrest his attention. 
The Arabs of the south country, contrary to the usage 
prevailing in every other part of Palestine, carefully avoid 
taking up their abode in the ancient sites ; and, in a 
country habitually exposed to sudden visitations of whirl- 
wind and storm, prefer the shelter either of a tent, or of 
some cave bequeathed by the Horite aborigines, or per- 
haps of the very quarry which furnished the materials 
of the adjoining city. The words of Dr. Kobinson, about 
Zephath or Hormah, may be applied to every city of the 
Negeb : — " Once, as we judged upon the spot, this must 
have been a city of not less than 10,000 or 12,000 
inhabitants. Now it is a perfect field of ruins, a scene 
of unutterable desolation, across which the passing 
stranger can with difficulty find his way." A mighty 
spell seems to rest upon the cities of the south. We 
turn to the word of prophecy, and we read, "The cities 
of the south (Negeb) shall be shut up, and none shall 
open them : Judah shall be carried away captive, all of 
it : it shall be wholly carried away captive " (Jer. xiii. 19). 
We now come to the consideration of the sites of the 
twenty-nine cities of Judah and Simeon in the south. 
These occupy but a small space in the after-history of 
Israel. In fact, with the exception of Beersheba and 
Ziklag, none of them ever re-appear, except in way of 
most cursory allusion, in the Scripture narrative. Com- 
mencing, as Joshua does (xv. 21), from the east, the first 
city is Kahzeel, or Jekahzeel (Neh. xi. 25), the native 
place of David's mighty man of valour, Benaiah the son 
of Jehoiada (2 Sam. xxiii. 20). This has been identified 
with Ayn el Arus, at the mouth of the Wady Quseib, 
probably the Arabic equivalent for Kabzeel, at the end 
of the Sebkha at the south of the Dead Sea, exactly on 
the limit pointed out for the Jewish frontier, and where 


the writer observed traces of buildings of rough un- 
dressed stone. It is just at the beginning of the ascent 
of Akrabbim. Eder, and Arad mentioned by Shishak 
among the cities he subdued, have been already noticed, 
as in the Negeb of the Kenites. 

Of Jagur we find no trace, nor of Kinah, the next on 
the list. From the order in which they occur they were 
probably in the region of the Kenites, and the reading of 
Hazor-KinaJi, ''the camp town of the Kenites," has been 
suggested. That the Kenites were here even before the 
conquest seems to be implied by Balaam's apostrophe, 
as from the top of Peor, whence this range is plainly 
visible, he looked on the Kenites, and with prophetic 
ken exclaimed, " Strong is thy dwelling-place, and thou 
puttest thy nest in a rock. Nevertheless the Kenite 
shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away 
captive " (Numb. xxiv. 21, 22). They were mingled, too, 
with the Amalekites, as we see by Saul's friendly warn- 
ing, " Get you down from among the Amalekites " 
(1 Sam. XV. 6), I visited a camping-ground with stone 
heaps and ruins, about two hours from Arad, called El 
Hudhera (the Arabic for Hazeroth), which would well 
answer for this place. 

Dimonah, or Dibon (Neh. xi. 25), a little further north- 
west, preserves its name in Ed Dheib, a collection of 
rude ruins at the head of a wady of the same name, five 
miles north of Arad. 

Adadah. — West of the southern end of the Dead Sea, 
not far from Tuweirah el Foka, are a group of ruins, 
still l)earing exactly the same name, 'Adadah. 'Aroer of 
Judah is mentioned among the places where David and 
his men were wont to haunt, and to which he sent 
presents after the recapture of Ziklng. The name 
remains unchanged in the Wady 'Ararah. The only 
relics of tlio ancient city consist of a few wells, two or 
tlireo of tliem built up of nido masonry, and some of 


them containing water. Fragments of pottery abound. 
It is about twelve miles south-west of 'Arad. 

Kadesh, or Kadesh Barnea, has been already mentioned. 
Next follow llazor and ItJtnan, the latter name possibly 
from the Horite chief Ithran (Gen. xxxvi. 26), in which 
case it may be conjectured to be Hhora, a cave-city, of 
which there are so many in the district : notably one to 
the west of Arad visited by Yan de Velde, and another 
further west visited by myself. It is to be borne in mind 
that the Horites, or Cave-men, the predecessors of the 
Canaanites in the land, have left many traces in its 
nomenclature, as at Beth-horon, north of Jerusalem, 
and Horonaim, in Moab. Their occupancy seems to 
have ceased long before the Exodus. 

Ziph is another site not yet recognized. Telem, or 
Telaim (1 Sam. xv. 4), chosen by Saul as the rendezvous 
for his attack on Amalek, was probably a spot where the 
roads towards the Amalekite territory converged, and is 
perhaps the head-quarters of the Dlndlaim Arabs, the 
equivalent to the Hebrew name, and where, at El Kuseir, 
or little tower, there are the foundations of a stone-built 

BealotJi, or Baaloth Beer, the limnath Negeh of Josh, 
xix. 8, was part of the lot of Simeon, the name signifying 
Holy Well. It is mentioned (1 Sam. xxx. 27) as one of 
the places to which David sent presents, and (1 Kings ix. 
18) as one of the frontier towns fortified by Solomon, 
where it is simply called Baalath. From these incidental 
notices and the names, we gather that it was a watering- 
place of importance (Beer. Baal) and had artificial tanks ; 
that it was on a commanding height (Ramath) ; that it 
was on the frontier ; and we might expect traces of for- 
tification to remain. All these conditions are fulfilled 
in Kurnub, south-west of Dhullam, where alone for many 
miles water is always found in plenty, and where the 
ravine is crossed by a strong dam to retain it. The walls 


of a fortified town are yet clearly to be traced, with ex- 
tensive ruins, and it is at the head of the most frequented 
pass into Palestine from the south-east. 

Hazor and Hadattah, next on the list, should probably 
be taken as one word ; and the place is easily identified 
with the ruins called Hadadah,i ^i watch-tower on the 
edge of a bluff on the high ground at the head of the 
Zuweirah Valley, south-west of the Dead Sea. 

The four next names should be read together, Kerioth- 
Jlezron, which is Hazor Amam. Kerioth, the plural form 
of Kir, or Kirjath, denotes a fortress or stronghold, like 
the Welsh caer. The plural number points to there 
having been more than one castle ; and we recognize the 
spot in Kureitein, i. e. the two castles, on the road north 
from Arad to Hebron on the frontier of the hill country, 
due south of Maon and Kurmul. The ruins of Qureitein 
are much scattered, consisting of long rows of primitive 
walls crossing each other at right angles and more than 
500 yards long. Adjoining one of them is a vast quad- 
rangular enclosure : and up a small glen, a little further 
on, are similar ruins covering the summit of a high cliff. 

SJiema may be recognized in Kujum Selameh, i. e. the 
mound of Selameh. It is a knoll with a green basin of 
fine pasture, enclosed in a circle of smooth rolling hills. 
The ruins are mere foundations, scattered irregularly 
over a very considerable area, and affording no clue to 
their architecture or period. The mention of Shema 
just before Moladah, and the fact of both being in the 
heritage of Simeon, support the conjecture of its identity 
with Salameh, especially as it is called Selmaa in the 

Sheha (Josh. xix. 2) has been supposed to be a mis- 
reading for SJiema, but it is more probable that it is 
represented by Tell cs Sebi'i, a large double tell or mound, 



witli ruins and a well, two miles from Beerslieba, on the 
road to Moladah. 

Hence a day's journey due west brings us to Moladah, 
Malatha of the Greeks, El Milh of the Arabs. It 
remained in the occupation of Simeon in David's time, 
and was resettled after the return under Nehemiah 
(Neh. xi. 26). It is spoken of as a fortress by Josephus, 
and was afterwards the station of a Roman cohort. The 
two wells are in the shallow valley, or plain beneath, 


very finely built of marble, about seventy feet deep, their 
sides scored with the ropes of the water-drawers of many 
centuries. The ground around is strewed with records 
of the Roman occupation. Fragments of shafts and 
capitals, probably the supports of the roofs that covered 
the wells, and eight large marble water-troughs, lie 
around the mouths. There are traces of pavement. Just 
to the south of the wells stands a small isolated " tell," 
or hill, covered with ruins, and now used as the burying- 
ground of the Dhullam tribe. This hill was the foi'tress 


of the city below, spoken of by Josephus : and we could 
clearly trace the circuit of the wall that once surrounded 
it, nearly square in shape, and still, in places, three or 
four feet high. The traces of buildings and fragments 
of walls cover an extensive area both south and north 
of the citadel ; and near its foot, on the south-east, are 
the outlines of a building, probably a Byzantine church. 
The other ruins seem to belong to an earlier and ruder 
period, and are, perhaps, the remains of the old town of 
Simeon. 1 

^^ Hazor-Gaddah,^' "the enclosure or fold of the kid," 
has been by some identified with the Tamar of Ezekiel 
(xlvii. 19), the Thamara of Greek and Roman writers, 
the modern Hudhrur (Hazeroth), a few scanty ruins 
near the mouth of the Wady Mubughik, south-west of 
the Dead Sea. But there is no evidence of anything 
more than a fort there ; and there can be little doubt 
that it is correctly placed at Jurrah, or El Ghurra, a 
group of ruins on a high marl peak, with steep sides, 
very near El Milh, on the road to Beersheba. 

Heshmon is very well placed by Col. Conder at El 
Meshash, three miles east of Tell el Milh, in the AYady 
el Sebj\, where there are ruins and two wells still full 
of water, and much frequented. Nothing further is 
known of Bethpelet, the next city, but from its position 
in the different lists, it was probably near Beersheba 
and Moladah. It may possibly be El Hhora, an im- 
portant site on the edge of the hills, with five small out- 
lying forts surrounding the town, called by the Arabs 
Qasur el Mehafseh. Jeshua is mentioned in Neh. xi. 
26, in this group ; and Conder considers it represented 
))y " S'aweh," a ruin east of Beersheba. 

Jfdzor Shidl, " tlio enclosure of jackals," is four times 
mentioned, but only incidentally. It belonged to Simeon, 
(ifld, from the passages where it occurs, was to the west 

' LnniJ of Israel, p. .S7">.. 



of Moladah, Jackals abound most in the dry sandy 
district adjoining Pliilistia ; and to the north-east of 
El Meshash, on a high bluff, are the ruins of a con- 


siderable place, built of large flint blocks, and still 
known by the similar name of S'aweh. 

Beersheha, also belonging to Simeon, is on many 
accounts the most interesting locality in the south 
country. Its position admits of no doubt — the well- 


known Beer-es-Seba. Long lines of foundations mark 
the ancient city, or rather village, for it seems to have 
always been what Jerome describes it in the fourth 
century — a very large unwalled place, with a garrison. 
The ruins are about half-a-mile in extent, but scattered, 
and include the foundations of a Greek church, wdth 
apse, sacristy, and aisles. Only a fragment of the apse 
remains above the pavement, although in the fourteenth 
century some of the churches were still standing. 

The seven wells vary from five to thirteen feet in 
diameter. One which we measured was twelve and 
a half feet in diameter, thirty-four feet till the rock was 
reached, and seems to be pierced about thirty feet 
further through the rock. The water, when we visited 
it, was standing at thirty-eight feet, but varies with the 
season. The Arabs may w^ell point with pride to the 
work of their father Abraham. The sides above the 
native rock are built with finely-squared large stones, 
hard as marble. Yet the ropes of water-drawers for 
4000 years have worn the edges with no less than 143 
flutings, the shallowest of them four inches deep. 
Ancient marble troughs are arranged at convenient 
distances round the wells, some oblong and some round. 
The wells are at the north edge of the water-course of the 
wady, which is embanked by an old stone wall. In winter 
there are frequently violent torrents on the gravel beds. 
Among the ruins are the traces of a Jewish (?) fortress — a 
circular tower or keep of double walls, each four feet 
thick, and with a like space between them. There are 
many fragments of pottery strewn about, with occasional 
bits of glass, and the squares or '' tesserae " of lioman 

One feature in particular marks Beersheba as the 
boundary between the soutli country and the uplands, 
though all else has perished. This is the cultivation of 
large portions of unfonccd ImtuI for corn by the Arabs. 


The low-lying flats are scratched for wheat and barley, 
and then left two years fallow. They are the lingering 
evidence of what the land once was, and may yet again 
become. Beersheba is, indeed, a featureless place. No 
traces of trees remain, for fuel is as precious as water. 
Abraham planted a grove of terebinth, and grateful, 
indeed, would be the boon of its shade to the desert 
wayfarer ; and, if permitted to grow, the terebinth would 
still flourish in the rich sandy soil. 

Here is the place where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 
often dwelt. We are by the very well Abraham digged. 
Hence he journeyed with Isaac to Mount Moriah. 
Hence Jacob started on his lonely travel to Padan 
Aram. Here he sacrificed to the Lord before setting out 
to join his son Joseph in Egypt. Here Samuel made 
his sons judges. Here Elijah parted with his faithful 
servant before wandering into the wilderness. To this 
place Joab's census extended, the wandering population 
to the southward being not included in the settled 
territory, of which this, as the place of departure for the 
caravans to Egypt, was the recognized limit. Over 
those wide rolling hills, covered with verdure and 
carpeted with spring flowers, the Patriarchs used to 
gaze on their thousands of flocks and herds. 

The remaining towns, chiefly Simeonite, lay south 
and west of Beersheba. Bizjothah, " God-despised ! " is, 
perhaps, an epithet of the following Baalah or Balah, a 
term of contempt for a place devoted to the worship of 
Baal. Names having reference to this idolatry still 
remain on the southern frontier of Philistia, as Deir el 

Tini and Aze^n, the latter one of the places enumerated 
by Shishak among his conquests, Mr. Wilton proposes also 
to unite, and seemingly with reason, as lim is omitted 
in the subsequent lists. It is probably represented by El 
Aujeh, of the Azazimeh Arabs, who seem to derive their 


name from this Azem, their ancient headquarters. The 
name lim (crooked) has the same signification as Anjeh. 
Prof. Palmer has been the first accurately to describe 
these important ruins, lying two-thirds of the way from 
Beersheba to Kadesh. There is a strong fort on the 
summit of a hill commanding the wady ; a church, with 
the apse still standing ; wells now dry ; the ground for 
a great distance strewn with ruins, broken walls, 
foundations, and many bits of pottery and glass. 
Though all is now desert, the immense number of walls 
and terraces for miles round show how extensive culti- 
vation once w^as. There are many miles of plain where 
corn has been cultivated ; and all the hills are covered 
with the rows and heaps of stones for trailing the vines, 
which have been already mentioned. 

El Tolad, i. e. born of God, may be the name given by 
Abraham in commemoration of Isaac's birth. Possibly 
El-Toula, near the Wady Lussan, marks its situation. 

Chesil, the Betheel, or Bethul of the south, of the later 
lists, evidently, from its name, connected w^ith worship 
or a sacred place, and also not far from Ziklag and 
Hormah, the first city named to which David sent 
2)resents, is identified with Khelasah — with very extensive 
ruins, wells, and fragments of sculptured marble, but 
now utterly destroyed — a little to the north of Reho- 
both, on the road to Beersheba, which Conder suggests 
is the Jiered of (Jen. xvi. 14. 

J/ormah, or Zejj/iath, has been already noticed. Next 
we come to Zi/da(j, so intimately concerned with the 
eventful history of David, a town of Simeon. Ziklag, 
though so often montioiied, is one of the most difficult 
to determine of all the southern cities. Its general 
position is clear. It had been wrested from Israel by 
the growing power of the PiiiliHtines, since Achish, King 
of Gath, gave it to David, who lived heio with his two 
wives Al)igail and Aliiuoaui, till ho ami his men left it 




for Hebron. It was in the cultivated lands — not the 
low country or Sheplielah of the Philistines, and below 
the settlements of Amalek — in fact, a border city. The 
site has been visited and satisfactorily identified by 
Gen. Kitchener, R.E., Sirdar of Egypt. The ruin bears 
the name of Khirbet Zuheilikah, and occupies three 
small hills, nearly half-a-mile apart, in the form of an 
equilateral triangle. There are a number of ancient 
ruined cisterns. The site is in the open rolling plain, 
eleven miles east-south-east of Gaza, and nineteen miles 
south-west of Beit-Jibrin. 

Three miles south of it is Wady Bashkah, or Sheriah, 
which may be the brook Besor (1 Sam. xxx. 21), where 
the 200 faint and weary ceased their pursuit of the 
Amalekites with David. 

Five miles east of Zuheilikah is Khirbet Zebalah, a 
large and important ruin, probably the Bcdah or Balaah 
of Josh. xix. 3, named Bilhah (1 Chron. iv. 29), a city 
of Simeon. Between this and Beersheba is another ruin 
of some extent, Bemamim, probably the Remmon of the 
same list. 

Madmannah or BetJt-marcahoth, '' the place of chariots," 
as also the next town of Simeon, Sansannah or Hazar- 
susah (Josh. xix. 5), ''the horse village," were evidently 
stations of passage on the great caravan-road to Egypt. 
The former seems to be Minyay, fifteen miles south-west 
of Gaza. The latter is represented by the ruins of Beit 
Susin, or Simsim, nearer Gaza. 

Lebaoth, or Beth-hirei, " lionesses," cannot be traced 
in the vernacvilar nomenclature. Lebaoth must have 
been a place of some importance as well as antiquity, as 
it is mentioned both by Thothmes III. and by Shishak 
among the cities they subdued. Sldlhim, "tanks or 
reservoirs," elsewhere called Shaaraim (1 Chron. iv. 31), 
" barley," implies some spot in that thirsty land well- 
watered and fruitful. The name still lingers in Wady 


Siram, twelve miles a little to the west of the north of 
Kaclesh, where the ruins bear the name of El Beerein, 
*'the wells." There is a very fine aqueduct, leading to 
a large reservoir, most elaborately constructed and 
cemented, with earth outside and buttresses. The aque- 
duct and reservoir are described at length by Prof. 
Palmer. He thus pictures the scene : " The broad valley 
was filled with verdure ; grass, asphodel, and oshej grew 
in great profusion ; flowers sprang beneath our feet ; 
immense herds of cattle were going to and fro between 
us and the water, and large flocks of well-fed sheep and 
goats were pasturing upon the neighbouring hills. The 
valley has been enclosed for purposes of cultivation ; and 
the terraces, banked-up to stop the force and spread the 
waters of the soil over the cultivated ground in the wady 
bed, extend along its whole length." Prof. Palmer also 
mentions the noble trees under the shade of which he 
rested. Mr. Drew, the only other traveller who has 
visited it, was struck by the patches of corn which he 

Sharuhen, mentioned among his conquests by Shishak, 
may be Tell esh Sheri'ah, twelve miles north-west of 

Ain and Rimmon are the last places mentioned — 
evidently a misreading for Ain-Himrnon, as we see by 
the subsequent catalogues. It is incidentally mentioned 
in Zech. xiv. 10, and means "the fountain of the pome- 
granate," one of the very fruits of which the spies 
brought samples. Umm er Kumamim, " the mother of 
2)omegranates," lies twelve miles north of Beersheba, 
and seems, without questiofi, to bo the site of the ancient 
city, which is one of those recorded by Thothmes III. 
among his conquests. 

We have examined at some length the bare catalogues 
of the cities of the soutli, with a view to their exact 
identification, because, tliough they hliVe but shim 11 im- 


portance in the topography of Scripture history, yet this 
is tlie part of Palestine least known ; and the slight 
incidental allusions which we trace, the signification of 
the names, and the attestation of a vast former popula- 
tion by their ruins, are not among the least interesting 
or telling of the illustrations of the Word of God. 






Characteristics of the Low Country— Five groups of Cities— Philistia— Gaza— 6'!(i. 
zeh — Tell-cl-Amamft tablets — Amenhotep IV.— The Khabiri — Aclonizedek — 
Ashkelon — Ashdod, or Azotus — Ekron — Gath — Beit-Jibrin — Eleutheropolis 
—Blanche Garde — Encroachment of the Desert — Discoveries at Tell-el-Hesi — 
Its identity with Lachish — Cities of the Amorites, Judges, Kings of Judnh 
and Greeks — Lachish — Its sieges — Inscriptions of Nineveh — Sennacherib— 
Umm Lakh ts — Eglon — Bozkath — Joktheel — Dilean — Saphir — Gederoth — Betli- 
dagon — Naamah — Makkedah — Aphek — Beth-Ezel — Mekonah — Mareshah— 
Achzib — Keilah — Nezib— Ashan — Ether— Libnah — Shaaraini — Goliath — 
Socoh — Azekah — Vale of Elah — Battle-field — Adullam-fat-uj — Jarrauth — 
Eshtaol — Zorah — Stone of Abel — Tinniath— History of Samson — Zanoah — 
Cities of Dan— Ajalon— Shaalbiin— Joppa— IV'm — Its history— Lj'dda— 
Antipatris— Cissarea— Dor. 

The second physical division of the allotment of Joshua 
was the Shephelah, or low country, translated generally 
in our version as " the valley " (Josh. xv. 33), and some- 
times '' the plain." It comprises the low-lying flat 
country, whether desert or corn-growing, which inter- 
venes between the central backbone of hills extending 
from north to south and the sea. The expression, 
though equally applicable to all the coast plains of 
Palestine, is generally confined to those of Philistia and 
Sharon, which are limited northwards by the bold pro- 
jecting spur of Carmel ; while the next jdain, that of 
Acre, is similarly cut off by the precipitous Ladder of 
Tyre from the Plain of Pho'nicia. 

Tiiis region in the allotment oF the tribes foil princi- 
pally to Judiih, in the south of whose portion were 
several towns assigned to Simeon ; while the northern 
part, better known as the Plain of Sharon, was the rich 



but narrow heritage of Dan. Practically, however the 
more important and valuable part of this vast corn-plain 
was never conquered till after the monarchy, and re 
mnined in the possession of the Philistines, who were 


often the terror and the scourge of Israel. There is no 
natural boundary line between Philistia and Sharon 
Ihe plain stretches with scarce an undulation, but with 
veiy vai-ymg depth inland, from the southern frontiers 
ot the Desert of Gaza to the foot of Carmel 

The descent from the Negeb, or south land, to the low 
country is gentle and insensible on its southern limit 


but much more steep and clearly defined from the hill 
country of Judah on the east. The towns of the maritime 
plain are given in Joshua xv. 33 — 47, where Shephelah 
is rendered " the valley," and are there divided into four 
groups : — 1st. Those in the north and north-east, four- 
teen cities in all. 2nd. Those which, so far as they have 
been identified, lay in the central south-western part of 
Judah, sixteen in number. 3rd. A group which clung 
rather to the western face of the hill country, and were 
often situated on the edge of the mountain range, of 
wliich nine are enumerated ; and 4th, the Philistian 
cities in the extreme south-west, of which only three 
are enumerated, Ashkelon and Gath being omitted. 
Besides these, lying on the coast to the north was the 
portion of Dan, to which tribe fifteen cities of the Plain 
of Sharon were appropriated (Josh. xix. 40 — 46). 

We shall most naturally proceed with our investigations 
by passing from the south country into Philistia, where, 
leaving Gerar, the old seat of the Caphtorim or Philis- 
tines, the first city wliich arrests our attention is Gaza. 

There are not many places of greater interest in 
Southern Palestine. Its frontier town, Gaza^ also written 
sometimes in A.V. as in Deut. ii. 23, 'Azzah, the Hebrew 
being identical, was the key of the road to Egypt. 
Before the days of Abraham it was the border city of the 
Canaanites (Gen. x. 19). Along that road the Pharaohs, 
Shishak, and Necho invaded Israel by the way of the 
Pliilistines. By the same road, too, one Eastern despot 
after another — Assyrian, Chaldean, Persian, and Syro- 
Grecian, marched to win the rich prize of the Valley of 
the Nile. 

The wonderful discoveries and exhumations of Egyptian 
records witliin the Inst few years supply \is with inform- 
ation as to the varied fortunes and vicissitudes of (Jaza 
for several centuries before the time of Joshua. Before 
Ahmes, the first king of tlio Eighteenth Dynasty, finally 


succeeded in expelling the Hyksos (the Hittites or 
Shepherd Kings) from Egypt, Gaza and the Philistine 
Plain were independent, or more probably had a loose 
connection with Babylonia, the kings of which from time 
to time invaded Canaan. Ahmes reduced it to the 
position of an Egyptian province. An Egyptian 
governor was placed in Gaza on the frontier fortress and 
in the other more important cities. His grandson, 
Thothmes II., again occupied it in his march to the 
Euphrates, which was little more than a raid. His son, 
Thothmes III., in the twenty-second year of his reign in 
his great expedition, of which he has left us the records 
carve'd on stone, occupied Gaza without difficulty, and 
made it his base of operations before the great battle of 
Megiddo, in which he crushed the Canaanites, B.C. 1481. 

His son, Amenhotep II., is known by Egyptian 
inscriptions, lately discovered at Gaza, to have built there 
a temple to the goddess Maut. During the reign of 
several successors, while Israel was multiplying in Egypt, 
the correspondence exhumed at Tell-el-Amarna, the site of 
the capital of Amenhotep IV., reveals the state of rapid 
disintegration into which the Egyptian Empire was 
falling. Many letters from the King of Jerusalem to 
his suzerain describe the progress of a general revolt 
against the Egyptian rule. This revolt was evidently 
universal, but there seems to have been no confederation 
or cohesion between the insurgents. The Amorites and 
Hittites of the north were asserting their independence. 
So were also the Phoenicians along the whole coast, their 
centre being at Gebal. 

Meanwhile, in Southern Palestine, an entirely different 
attack was being made, the centre of it being in the hill 
country, where a race, called in the letters the Khabiri, 
or 'Abiri, whom Conder identifies with the Hebrews, are 
stated to have come from Seir, and to have left their 
pastures. They are also called '' desert people." (Some 


critics read this name as though it were Habiri, allies, 
but this explanation ignores the guttural \iin.) Besides, 
the Khabiri are never mentioned, except in the south 
near Jerusalem. The letters show that the Egyptian 
troops had been recently withdrawn from the country, 
and the King of Jerusalem assigns this as the cause why 
all the land has submitted to the chiefs of the Hebrews. 

The name of this King of Jerusalem has been disputed. 
Dr. Sayce would read it Ebed-Tob, a reading possible in 
some cases, but not in all. In one letter he is called " the 
servant of the Good One." Now, this, in Hebrew, would 
read Adonizedek, the very name given in Joshua to the 
King of Jerusalem, — " Lord-good-do " literally. " The 
letters, too, exactly agree with the actions of the king 
as recorded in Joshua. He flies from Jerusalem ; he is 
joined by one king after another, who has been expelled 
by the Hebrews ; he sends his women to Gaza, where 
alone there was an Egyptian garrison, intending to 
reach Egypt. We may observe that Gaza was not taken 
by Joshua. The last letters are, apparently, from 
Makkedah, whence Adonizedek proposes to go to Gaza. 
Another letter shows that the King of Jerusalem had a 
quarrel w^ith the Kings of Makkedah and Keilah. For 
the result we must turn to sacred records. 

It would seem, from the subsequent silence of the 
Egyptian records, that Gaza threw off the yoke, but was 
again garrisoned by Seti I. at the commencement of his 
Asiatic campaign. It is again mentioned as taken or 
held by the great llaineses II. It was again occupied by 
IJameses 111., in a liasty raid, but not retained. Hence- 
forward Gaza was a barrier against Egyptian invasion. 
The summary of the chapter of liistory, recorded in tlio 
Tell-el-Amarna tablets, seems to be that jibout B.C. 1450 
the HittitcM coiujuered Damuscus ; tlio Amorites, Phcr- 
nicia ; and tlie Hebrews, Jiulea. 

At the conquest by Josluui, Gaza was taken by Judali, 


but it was soon wrested from, them, and during the whole 
period of the Judges was the chief of the five Philistine 
cities. Its gates were taken by Samson, and carried to 
the top of the neighbouring hill. But it still maintained 
its power, and its subjection by David and Solomon was 
only temporary. The eiforts of Samson died with him- 
self. It was here that his enemies enjoyed their short- 
lived triumph over their dreaded captive when, blinded 
and mocked, he overwhelmed them and himself in one 
common ruin, when he bowed himself with all his might 
and brought down the pillars of the court-house in 
which the Philistine lords were crowded. In the vast 
corn-plain which stretches round Gaza, Samson had 
spread destruction by turning loose the jackals (foxes) 
with firebrands at their tails. 

It was taken by Shishak when he wrested all the 
fenced cities from Rehoboam. 

The inscriptions of Nineveh tell us that in after times 
Sennacherib gave the King of Gaza part of the territory 
of Hezekiah. Soon afterwards Gaza was stormed by 
Pharaoh-Necho after the battle of Megiddo. Its siege 
arrested the march of Alexander the Great for five 
months, and when he had stormed it he put its defenders 
to the sword to the last man. Again and again, in the 
wars of the Maccabees, the Herods, the Khalifs, the 
Crusaders, Gaza was the scene of many a struggle. 

It was on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza that Philip 
met the Ethiopian eunuch ; and the baptism of Queen 
Candace's treasurer must have taken place very near 
Gaza, since Philip reached Ashdod, the town to the north 
of it, on his return. Thus Gaza, the key of Egypt, 
became the highway, not only for the caravans of Syria, 
but for the message of the gospel of peace to the conti- 
nent of Africa. There are two roads from Gaza, one 
along the coast through Ashkelon and Ashdod, the other 
through Beersheba to Hebron. Not far from Eglon, 


on this route, is water, the probable scene of the 

The capture of Gaza was one of the earliest feats of the 
Saracens ; but it was wrested from the Moslems by the 
Crusaders, and garrisoned by the Templars. It was 
visited by Richard I. of England, but finally yielded to 
Saladin, a.d. 1170, and its Christian history closed. Its 
Great Mosque was a church founded by the British Em- 
press Helena. Its arches, supported by columns taken 
from old heathen temples, and its apse, still remain. 
Here, in the now desecrated shrine, Roman emperors 
and French and English kings have done homage to 
their Saviour. 

Gaza, now Guzzeh, is the second town of Palestine, 
next after Jerusalem. But it hjis now neither Avails nor 
gates. Gardens, hovels, and fine arches are mingled in 
all directions. The sea is only three miles distant ; and 
the whole space is one uninterrupted line of old founda- 
tions and ruins, strewn with pottery and marbles. The 
old port, which was entirely artificial, has been long 
since choked with sand, the drifts of which are steadily 
encroaching on the corn-plain. But, to the north and 
east, the gardens and orchards, green and gold with the 
orange and the palm, stretch far away, and are succeeded 
by a noble wood of olive-trees, beyond which stretches 
one illimitable plain of wheat — the old granary of Judali 
— with neither hedge nor tree to vary its extent. It 
reaches, with scarce a hillock to interrupt it, to the 
very foot of Carmel. 

Proceeding by the coast on the edge of the cultivated 
plain, about twelve miles north of Gaza, wo arrive at 
yf-s/z/ffi/o/i, the second Philistine city, close to the shore, 
and still bearing the name of Askiilun. Rjiniesos II. 
mentions it among the places taken by him in the eighth 
year of his reign. We may note that Ashkclon is 
omitted from the list of places taken by Judah uiulrr 


Joshua, and that a letter of Adonizedek among the Tell- 
el-Amarna tablets mentions among the conquests of the 
Khabiri the land of the city of Ashkelon, not the city 
itself. Gardens and vineyards fringe the old crusading 
walls landwards, but the sand is rapidly encroaching on 
them and drifting up to the foot of the ancient fortifica- 
tions on the south. There is a large village. El Jurah, 
to the north, but the site of Ashkelon itself is absolutely 
without inhabitant. "Ashkelon shall be a desolation" 
(Zeph. ii. 4). "Ashkelon shall not be inhabited " (Zech. 
ix, 5). But the stupendous fortifications, enlarged by 
the Crusaders, still remain, with their enceinte unbroken, 
forming a semicircle from the sea, one and a half miles 
in diameter, and incomparably the largest mass of ruins 
in Western Palestine. The masonry is magnificent. 
The whole city is a mass of luxuriant gardens and fruit- 
trees, struggling in a maze of prostrate columns and 
marble fragments, but no human being resides within 
its limits. There are many wells still in use ; and the 
sea face is formed by a range of cliffs, built up with 
many granite and marble columns. 

The Biblical history of Ashkelon is unimportant. Its 
interest centres in the exploit of Samson, who slew 
thirty men there and took their spoils. In after times 
it rose to greater importance. It shared many of the 
sieges of Gaza, and was one of the prizes repeatedly 
struggled for between Crusader and Saracen. It was 
the last place in Palestine which held out against the 
Crusaders, and was at length taken by Baldwin and the 
Templars. Betaken by Saladin, one of the greatest feats 
of our own Bichard Coeur-de-Lion was the wresting of 
Ashkelon from the infidel ; and here he held his court. 
The place was finally destroyed by Sultan Bibars. 

Ashkelon was the seat of the worship of a female 
Bagon or fish-goddess — the Syrian Venus. Its gardens 
were always famous, and especially its onions. The 



scallioii or sliallot of our own gardens is only a corruption 
of Ascalonia, the Ashkelon onion. 

Twelve miles north again, a little way inland, lies 
Ashdod — Azotus of the New Testament, now Esdiid — 
another royal city of the Philistines, allotted to Judah, 
but never conquered, and now a mere mud village. Its 
position on the great high-road was commanding ; and 
on the little hill stood the temple of Dagon, the fish-god. 


to which the Philistines brought the Ark of God, after 
the battle of Aphek, when Dagon fell before it and was 
the next night broken to pieces, and the pestilence of 
the emerods compelled the men of Ashdod to transfer 
the Ark to Gath (1 Sam. v.). 

Aslidod stood several sieges, Imtli in Hcrii)tural and 
in later history. llz/iah dismantled it and settled the 
n('iglil){)uring country with fortresses (2 Chron. xxvi. G). 
It was besieged and taken l)y Tartan, general of the 



Assyrian King Sargon (Isa. xx. 1), and afterwards sus- 
tained the longest siege on record, when, about B.C. 630, 
in the reign of Josiah, Psammitichus, King of Egypt, 
invested Ashdod for twenty nine years, as told by Hero- 
dotus. Jeremiah incidentally refers to the effects of this 
siege when (ch. xxv. 20), after enumerating the kings of 
the land of the Philistines, he adds, " and the remnant 


of Ashdod." Again, it was destroyed by the Maccabees, 
and long lay in ruins till rebuilt by the Eomans. It is 
only mentioned in the New Testament as the place to 
which Philip returned after the baptism of the Ethiopian. 
Wretched as the modern village is, the luxuriant fruit- 
trees and green corn-plains surrounding them attest the 
natural fertilitv of Philistia. 


Proceeding northward from Ashdod, but turning more 
inland, we enter a country in which the Philistine posses- 
sion was more effectually disputed by Judah, and to reach 
Ekron, about thirteen miles distant, we pass through 
Yebnah, the Jahneh of 2 Chron. xxvi. 6, and the same as 
the Jahneel of Josh. xv. 11, Jamnia of 1 Maccabees iv., 
etc., one of the border cities of Judah. Between them 
was Shikron, probably represented by the modern 
Zernuka, a little to the north of the straight road. 

Ekron, mentioned by Thothmes III. in the list of his 
conquests, now Akir, w^as the northernmost of the five 
cities of the land of the Philistines. It is named in 
Joshua (xv. 11) as a frontier city of Judah on its north, 
where it was contiguous to Dan, the border running 
thence by Jabneel to the sea, but afterwards (xix. 43) 
it fell to the lot of Dan. It remained in the hands of 
the Philistines to the time of the monarchy, and was 
the last place to which the Ark of the Lord was con- 
veyed, before its restoration to Israel, by way of Beth- 
shemesh. After this it scarcely appears in history, 
and is now a squalid mud village with only two ancient 
wells to mark its former importance, although the plain 
is rich as elsewhere. 

Gath, the last of the Philistine chief cities, perhaps 
referred to by Thothmes in the Karnak tablets as Gantu, 
had lost its ancient name in the fourth century a.d., 
and Eusebius and Jerome were ignorant of its position. 
It has been identified with Beit-Jibrin, the Baitogabra 
of Ptolemy, Betogahrl of the Peutinger Tables, but 
bettor known as Klautheropolis of the ancient Itineraries 
and Notitia'. The modern village has shrunk far within 
the limits of the old city, but its identity with Gath was 
inferred from the fact of the old ruined heaps in its 
centre })oi!ig known as Kliirbet Oat, the ruins of (<ath ; 
and fioiu tlio name lktt-G(U, the Baitogabra of Ptok'uiy 
ia evidently derived. Beit-Jibrin has the same significa- 



tion, "the house of the mighty." The modern village 
stands in the midst of ruins, foundations, columns, huge 
dressed stones and subterranean reservoirs, showing its 
former strength and importance. 

In the neighbourliood of Beit-Jibrin are a series of 
subterranean excavations, very rarely visited, the date 
and purpose of which are still unknown. Some of them 
are partially open to the day ; but the principal ones 
consist of a series of hollow domes, forty feet high, to 
which no ray of light has ever penetrated, surrounded 
by winding galleries, and connected by innumerable 
chambers and passages, honeycombing the whole of the 
hill, and only accessible by descending a narrow well- 
like entrance in the hill-side. 

There are about fourteen of these circular cavern 
chambers. In some of them are springs. There are 
many crosses, a rude representation of the crucifixion, 
and Cufic Moslem inscriptions, and in some of them 
many niches or columbaria; in one as many as two 
hundred and forty. They bear evidence of having 
been enlarged at various epochs, especially the Early 
Christian (where they were probably places of refuge) 
and Saracenic. 

The Philistine Gath seems to have been deserted after 
the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar, while Baitogabra, or 
Eleutheropolis, five miles south of it, took its place. 
From the time of David, Gath, lying eastward of the 
great road to Egypt, scarcely appears in history. But 
if we reject its old identification with Beit-Jibrin, as I 
am now compelled to do after revisiting the site, in the 
light of later researches, although several names and 
traditions were transferred to it from Gath, there can 
be no question of identity of the latter with Tell-es- 
Safi, which was restored by the Crusaders as a frontier 
fortress under the name of Blanche Garde. It is a 
magnificent situation, a white precipice a hundred feet 


high projecting into the plain to the north and west, a 
naturally strong position, which will explain its not 
having been captured by Joshua, while the plains round 
it were in the hands of the Israelites. The hill country 
of Judea to the east was easily accessible by the broad 
valley of Elah behind the fortress, and it was by this 
route that the Philistines often penetrated into the 
heart of the country. 

It was to Gath that Saul pursued the Philistines after 
the death of Goliath, whose home it was. Hence David 
would seem scarcely to have acted with his usual caution, 
when he fled to Gath after the slaughter of the priests at 
Nob by Saul. He was soon recognized as the slayer of 
the giant, and had to save himself by feigning madness 
— then, as now, a sure passport in the East to popular 
sympathy or at least toleration. From Gath, he escaped 
to the Cave of Adullam. Again driven by Saul's cease- 
less pursuit, David throws himself on the protection of 
Achish, King of Gath, and had the distant outpost of 
Ziklag assigned as his possession. He had Philistine 
friends and followers, as we see from the touching 
affection shown by Ittai the Gittite {i. e. of Gath — 2 
Sam. XV. 19). 

Abandoned for centuries, Blanche Garde was occupied 
again and fortified by King Fulke, a.d. 1144, but was 
captured by Saladin, a.d. 1191, yet retaken and rebuilt 
by llichard of England in the following year. The 
country round is classic ground to the Englishman, 
the scene of many of the heroic adventures of the lion- 
hearted king. On three occasions he was attacked 
when alone, or almost alone, on the plain between 
Blanche Garde and Gaza, by the Saracens, and each 
time cut his way through, killing many, and once 
rapturing five and at anotlior time seven to his own 

Of tlie fortress no trace remains ; tlie stones have 


probably been carried oft", and only heaps of rubbish 
remain to mark the four towns described by William 
of Tyre. 

Each of the five Philistine cities stood on a little 
rising ground, generally on the edge of that famed plain, 
a little Egypt for its richness. It was fringed with a 
narrow belt of sand, which, during ages of neglect, has 
been steadily encroaching from the sea on the plain, till 
now the very existence of Gaza and Ashdod are threat- 
ened. The sand-bank slopes gently to the sea, and much 
more steeply descends towards the land : the wind thus 
gradually rolls the sand up the slope and then it quietly 
drops on the other side. Eastward, the frontier of the 
plain is indented by many a spur from the Judsean hills, 
with deep valleys between them, the scene of many a 
hard-fought struggle with the inhabitants of the moun- 
tains. Open towards the Desert, the plain is exposed to 
the unchecked incursions of the Arab marauders. Long 
since have the prophecies been fulfilled, that Ashkelon 
shall not be inhabited (Zech. ix. 5) : ''I will cut o& the 
pride of the Philistines;'' while the squalid hovels and 
the sand-choked ruins are an existing commentary on 
the denunciation : " O Canaan, the land of the Philis- 
tines, I will even destroy thee, and there shall be no 
inhabitant. And the sea-coast shall be dwellings and 
cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks" (Zeph. ii. 5, 6). 

But the line of demarcation between the Philistine 
and Judasan territory was an ever-fluctuating one ; and 
we find that many of the sixteen cities enumerated in 
the second group — the south-western part of the tribe of 
Judah north of the Simeonite settlements — were inter- 
mingled with the Philistine towns. Few of these, with 
the exception of Lachish, bore any important part in 
Scripture history ; yet nine or ten of the sites have still 
preserved their ancient names sufficiently closely in the 
vernacular to be easily identified. 


The identification of the site of Lachish, tlie most 
westerly city of this group, with Tell-el-Hesi, has 
recently been established by Prof. Flinders Petrie and 
Mr, Bliss, through the most remarkable and important 
of all the discoveries made in the exploration of Palestine. 
A mound on the Philistian plain, on the road from Gaza 
to Jerusalem, near the edge of the Judajan hill country, 
over 340 feet above the stream level, commanding a 
wide view over the surrounding district, has its eastern 
base washed by a perennial stream fed by a copious 
spring rising two miles further up. This proved to be 
literally an archaeological, not a geological, stratification. 
The upper sixty feet proved to be the deposit of suc- 
cessive buildings, many centuries apart ; and the ages 
of the different strata are proved by the well-known 
types of pottery found in great quantities in each, as 
well as in the adjacent cemeteries. Successive cities have 
been built, one on the ruins of the other. The lowest 
stratum is that of the Amorite city, the first undoubted 
remains as yet discovered of a praj-Israelite building. 
Its walls of sun-dried brick are more than twenty-eight 
feet thick, illustrating the report of the spies, of " cities 
great, and walled up to heaven.'' Yet even these walls 
have been breached and repaired, doubtless during the 
many Egyptian invasions. From the remains we learn 
the peculiar characteristics of Amorite pottery. The 
date of this lower city has been proved by Mr. Bliss, who 
found in it beads and scarabs of the Eighteenth 
Egyptian dynasty, B.C. 1600; among them one with the 
name and titles of Tii, wife of Amenhotep III. There 
are also seal cylinders from Babylonia belonging to the 
period from !'..('. 3000 to 1500: and more remarkable 
still, as showing the extent of Oanaanite commerce, 
amber beads froni the Baltic. But the most important 
of all Mr. Bliss's discoveries was that of a cuneiform 
tablet precisely similar to those of Tell-el-Amarn;i, :vnd 


containing the name of the Egyptian governor, whicli 
was ah'eady known to us, by the letters of Ebed-Tob 
or Adonizedek among the Amarna tablets. The letter 
found at Tell-el-Hesi is addressed from Egypt to the 
Governor of Lachish. 

This Amorite city or castle was small, at the north- 
east angle of the " Tell." It is evident that the bulk 
of the population dwelt outside the citadel, to which 
they could retire on the alarm of danger. The Amorite 
fortress had evidently been three times repaired. 

Above the Amorite remains is a layer of rounded stones 
and earth. The stones have evidently been gathered from 
the wady below ; and used for building huts without 
any dressing, earth being employed instead of mortar. 
These remains show a time when no regular brick-work 
was used, but when huts were roughly formed of the 
material at hand. Here we have an illustration of the 
period of the Judges. Calculating, as Prof. Petrie has 
done, the rate of accumulation, and testing it by the 
pottery, this stratum occurs about B.C. 1200, the time 
of the Judges, a terribly barbaric period, whose only 
history is that of the tierce struggles of disorganized 
tribes. Not a trace of peaceful arts do we find. Not 
even the arts of civilized warfare, the making of 

Even these rude hovels were deserted after a time — • 
for over the stratum of undressed stones and earth we 
find a deposit, five feet thick, of very thin alternate 
layers of black charcoai dust and white lime ash, each 
layer being not more than half-an-inch in depth. 
Modern deposits elsewhere in the country explain this. 
The charcoal is from the fires used by the Bedouin for 
procuring alkali by burning plants, and the lime layers 
are from the dust blown about after the alkali had been 
washed out. 

After the place had long remained desolate, Rehoboam 



fortified it, and accordingly we find over the lime 
and charcoal five feet of debris, such as might have 
accumulated when inhabited in the time of David and 
Solomon, while carved pilasters taken from such build- 
ings are found employed, but upside down, in the 
fortifications above, which we assume to be Rehoboam's. 
Architecturally these early carvings are of great value, 
for they give us the key to the development of the 
volute and the Ionic column. Rehoboam's wall seems 
to have been repaired, and partially re-faced at a later 
date — probably by Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xvii. 12). 
This wall again, at a later date, was partially razed — 
and another wall of masonry, probably the work of Ahaz, 
rests upon it. The stones have bevelled edges, with a 
rough central boss. These defences have been thrown 
down, and no re-fortifying of the site can be traced, except 
one, which is probably the work of Manasseh, who put 
irarrisons in all the fenced cities of Judah, and Lachish 
was on the road from Egypt to Jerusalem. These were 
the walls besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 590. 

After the Captivity there seems to have been a Greek 
settlement, for on the top is found Greek pottery of the 
sixth century B.C. But it seems soon to have been 
abandoned, and there is no trace of subsequent Greek, 
Roman, Crusading, or Saracen occupation. May we 
not say truly that in the deposits of Lachish we have 
a stratified history of the revolutions of Palestine 1 

Moreover, round that knoll are crowded a host of 
Scripture memories. The King of Lachish was, with 
his neighbour chiefs, one of the first of the Amorites to 
attack the Gibeonites for their league with Joshua, and 
one of the first to feel tlie vengeance of the Great 
Captain after the rout of Beth-horon. He was slain at 
Makkedah, and Libnah soon after fell ; and the effort 
to aid it by the King of Gozer only precipitated liiH 
own utter destruction. Its strength is shown by tho 



incidental mention, that while the other cities were 
stormed the first day, Lachish held out for two days. 
It was evidently the Amorite fortress towards Philistia. 
For this reason, doubtless, Rehoboam fortified it after 
the revolt of the ten tribes (2 Chron. xi. 9). Hither 
Amaziah, King of Judah, fled for safety from the con- 
spiracy against him in Jerusalem, but in vain — treachery 
evidently having foiled him. 

But the importance of Lachish is best shown by the 
circumstances connected with its last appearance in 
history, when Sennacherib, King of Assyria, in his 
famous invasion, was compelled to " lay siege against it, 
and all his power with him " (2 Chron. xxxii. 9) ; and here 
he remained to command in person, while he sent his 
officers to demand the submission of Jerusalem and its 
monarch. Already, during the siege of Lachish, had 
Hezekiah sent an abject message : '' That which thou 
puttest on me will I bear." Thirty talents of gold and 
three hundred talents of silver were demanded ; the 
treasury was emptied, the Temple was stripped, but it 
was not enough to satiate the invader. Kabshakeh's 
blasphemy was responded to by the prayers of the pious 
king ; and the angel of the Lord smote in the camp of 
the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand. 
The scene of the visitation was somewhere in the plain near 
Lachish, and was long remembered. Herodotus gives us a 
distorted version, derived, no doubt, from Assyrian sources, 
that an army of mice nibbled the bowstrings of the 
invaders in the night, anc\ so compelled them to retreat. 

The interest of this episode in Israelitish history has 
been greatly increased by the discoveries of Layard in 
the mounds of Nineveh. At Kouyunjik, the ancient 
Nineveh, some of the inscriptions run thus: ''Hezekiah, 
King of Judah, who had not submitted to my authority, 
forty-six of his principal cities and fortresses, and 
villages dependent upon them, of which I took no 


account, I captured and carried away their spoil. I shut 
up himself within Jerusalem, his capital city. The 
fortified towns, and the rest of his towns which I spoiled 
I severed from his country, and gave to the Kings of 
Askalon, Ekron, and Gaza, so as to make his country 
small." How exactly this agrees with the Inspired 
Record : " Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against 
all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them " (2 Kings 
xviii. 13). One of the most remarkable instances of 
historic testimony on record is the coincidence between 
the amount, thirty talents of gold, levied according to 
each account. Of silver the Scriptural account says 
three hundred talents, the Nineveh inscription eight 
hundred. The discrepancy may be accounted for by 
Hezekiah's having been only able to pciTj three hundred 
talents, while the Assyrian monarch includes his plunder 
in the captured cities. 

Another inscription gives a full account of the capture 
of Lachish. The king is represented sitting on a richly- 
carved throne on an elevated platform, with his feet rest- 
ing on a sculptured footstool, with arrows in his right 
hand and a bow in his left, and above his head this 
inscription: "Sennacherib, the mighty being, king of the 
country of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment at 
the entrance of the city of Lachish : I give permission 
for its slaughter." On the slabs there is a view of the 
city of Lachish, with its towers and battlements, 
crowded with defenders, armed with bows and arrows, 
slings, torches, and other wea})ons. Mounds of earth are 
thrown up in front of it, battering-rams are being 
pushed against the walls, from which scaling-ladders are 
b(>iiig tlirown back by the garrison, and a vast number 
of assailants are drawn up in array, the bowmen in the 
front rank kneeling, those in the second line stooping, 
and the tliird shooting as they stand upright : with 
horsemen and charioteers behind. 


Other slabs represent the capture of the city, a long 
procession of captives before the king, their torture and 
slaughter. Their physiognomy is strikingly Jewish : some 
are dragged by a hook in their nose — all are stripped of 
their ornaments, and are left l)arefooted and half-clothed. 
The women too are treated with the same contumely. 
All their ornaments, described by Isaiah (ch. iii. 18 — 23), 
are removed : they wear " instead of a girdle a rope, and 
instead of a stomacher a girdling of sackcloth." 

Another slab seems to give a ground-plan of the city 
after its occupation, with heathen worship going on at a 
sacrificial altar ; and the town appears to be on a hill 
with a hilly country in the distance. It is represented 
as surrounded with pahn-trees, the characteristic fruit- 
tree of the maritime plain, and the country round 
covered with vines and fig-trees. 

After this Lachish hardly appears in history, excepting 
the cursory mention of its re-occupation by the Jews 
after the Captivity, and a passing notice by Eusebius and 

About three miles north-west of Tell-el-Hesi, on a 
low rounded knoll, are a few remains, known as Umm 
Lakhis, and till recently accepted as the site of the 
ancient city. Careful examination reveals no trace of 
any building older than late Roman. Probably when 
Lachish was abandoned after the Captivity, the families 
that returned settled here, and gave the name to their 
new abode, as old Sarum gave place to Salisbury. 

In like manner the next name on our list, E(jlo7i, is 
placed by Professor Petrie, not at the site known as 
Khurbet 'Ajlan, but as Tell Nejileh, three and a half 
miles south of Tell-el-Hesi, where also there are abun- 
dant springs. These two groups of springs are the only 
natural ones in the district for a distance of many miles, 
and Tell Nejileh has many ancient remains, and no 
traces of any Koman or later occupation. The place 


having been occupied by their Gentile neighbours during 
the Captivity, the returned exiles probably acted like 
those of Lachish, and gave the name to their new home. 
Eglon had at the earliest epoch been a place of import- 
ance. Thothmes III. names it among his conquests, as 
does Shishak, long afterwards, in his list. 

Eglon was another of the confederate Amorite cities 
whose king was slain at Makkedah, after the great 
battle of Beth-horon ; and the city itself was taken 
immediately after the capture of Lachish (Josh. x. 34). 
It does not occur in subsequent history. 

Bozkath, named by Joshua, between Lachish and 
Eglon, and the native place of King Josiah's mother, has 
not been identified, though its remains are doubtless to 
be found among the numerous desolate heaps which stud 
this region, and fill its maps, but few of which have 
been recognized under their modern names. 

Cahhon, Lahnan, and Kithlish may be El Kubeibeh, 
Khurbet el Lahm, and Makkom, all occurring near each 
other, and in this order. Kithlish is called Maachus in 
the LXX.,the exact rendering of the present Arabic name. 

Joktheel, mentioned just before Lachish, may perhaps 
be Beit Jerja, a little north-west of Lakis or Kutlanah 
south of Ekron. Next to it is named Mizpeh, a very 
common name in Palestine, and signifying "watch- 
tower." The name is always given to some fort in 
a commanding situation. It must have been on the 
spur of one of the hills of Judah, near Gath or Blanche 
Garde. It seems to be Khurbet Meshrefeh, near Gaza, 
consisting of only a few heaps of stones and ruined 
cisterns. The word is the Arabic equivalent of the 

JJifmn, the next town, is also lost. The place never 
occurs in liistory after the allotment of Joshua, but 
seems to have lain between Mizpeh and Ekron. The 
name, signifying "gourd" or "cucumber," is most 


appropriate for this cucumber-growing district, and is, 
with fair reason identified with Beit Tima, a village 
with ruins, some miles south of Ekron. 

The next town mentioned, Migdalfjad, is easily 
identified with the modern Mejdel, two and a half miles 
inland from Ashkelon ; it was evidently the centre 
castle of Judah in front of that city. The position 
of the next two cities of the group, Hadashah and 
Zenan [Zaanan of Micah i. 11), in the district east of 
Ashkelon, is marked by the ruins of Ebdis or Eddis, 
and Khurbet Sameh. 

Along with Zaanan and other places in this region, 
the Prophet Micah mentions Saphir, the modern 
Suafir, a group of three villages, all with the same 
names. They are mentioned by Thothmes III. among his 
conquests, and lie about eight to ten miles north-east of 
Ashkelon, beyond Mejdel, and in the direction of the 
four remaining cities of this group. 

These are Gederoth, i. e. " sheep-cotes," Beth-dagon, 
NaariiaJi, enumerated among his conquests by Thothmes 
III., and Makkedah. These are represented respect- 
ively by the modern Katrah (the Cedron of 
Maccabees), Beit-Dejan, Na'aneh, and Mughar. Beth- 
dagon (the house of Dagon) clearly points to a seat of 
Philistine idolatry. Katrah and Mughar are close 
together, about two miles south-east of Ekron, with 
which they form a triangle ; Naamah, now Na'aneh, is 
six miles north-east, and Beit-Dejan twelve miles north, 
near Lydda. 

The identification by Prof. Palmer of the village of 
El Mughar (i. e. the Cave) with Makkedah is most 
important, and shows how much may still be done in 
Biblical topography. It stands on a hill on the west of 
the road from Ashdod to Ekron, which passes through 
a little valley; and on the east side stands Katrah. Sir 
G. Grove had already pointed out, from the history of 


Joshua, that in this district Makkedah must be looked 
for. Lt.-Col. Conder's exhaustive examination has con- 
firmed the identification. He pointed out the consider- 
ations which limit the position of Makkedah. It must 
be in the plain country of Judah, and near Beth-dagon 
and Naamah. It could not be more than eight or ten 
hours from Gibeon, where Joshua defeated the kings, 
and should be on the southward route from the opening 
of the valley of Ajalon. El Mughar meets all these 
conditions, and, moreover, is an undoubtedly ancient 
site, the tombs there being of the most antique character. 
As far as we know, it is the only site in the plain 
where caves occur, indeed almost the only place where 
they could occur, for only here does the sandstone 
crop out, presenting a perpendicular face. The houses 
are built over, and in front of caves. It is twenty - 
five miles from Gibeon. Its name, in Arabic, signifies 
the Caves, and the Syriac version for Makkedah reads 
" Mokar," identical with its present Arabic name. One 
of the caves has, curiously enough, five kokim rudely 
scooped in its side. In such a cave, apparently well 
out of reach of their pursuers, the fugitives might have 
watched the victorious host hurrying along the plain. 
Many of the letters exhumgd at Tell-el-Amarna are from 
the Governor of Makkedah to his master Amenhotep III. 
The Cave of Makkedah is for ever linked with the 
memories of that first great victory of Joshua — the 
l)attle of Beth-horon, before referred to — which gave 
Israel the whole Amorite district of the south. The 
cave must have been a well-known one, and outside the 
city. To it the five kings fled after their utter rout. 
Joshua at once followed with his victorious hosts. The 
cave had already been blocked by him to prevent 
escape. After significant ceromonicH, calculated to 
strike terror into the Canaanites, the five were hanged, 
probably on some tree sacred to idolatrous rites, and, 


wlien cut down at even, buried in their hiding-place, 
to the mouth of which great stones were rolled, that it 
might never again serve as a refuge for the foes of 
Israel. But meanwhile, flushed with triumph, the 
warriors had, during the afternoon, stormed the city of 
Makkedah itself, and put its inhabitants to the sword. 
Makkedah was thus the first city captured after the 
fall of Jericho ; nor does the place again occur in 

We now turn to the east of the low country, to the 
group of cities mentioned by Joshua as in the plain, or 
Shephelah, nine in number. It is to be noted that 
Shishak, in his list of conquests from Rehoboam, 
claims to have subdued the Shephelah, without enu- 
merating the names of the towns, which were probably 
insignificant. These appear to have clustered on the 
edge of the hill country, most of them rather facing and 
commanding the plain than actually on it, though their 
lands stretched far below their fortresses. 

The most famous and central city of this group, 
Betogahra, the Eleutheropolis of the Greeks and Romans, 
and now Beit-Jibrin, i. e. the house of the giants, 
perhaps from the Hebrew form Beth-gihhorim, supplanted 
the Gath of Old Testament history, already mentioned. 
In Roman and Christian times it became the caj)ital of 
Southern Palestine, was destroyed by the Saracens, 
rebuilt by the Crusaders, who have left ruins of great 
extent, and finally, it has dwindled to an Arab village. 
Near it are many cave-dwellings and subterranean 
villages, the work of the Idum?eans. 

At Belled el Foka, i.e. ''the Upper Town," Lt.-Col. 
Conder doubtfully places Aphek (1 Sam. xxix. 1), where 
the Philistines mustered before the fatal battle of 
Ebenezer, when the Ark w^as captured. The remains 
are merely heaps of stones. 

Beth-E zel (Mic. i. 11), called also Azal {Zech. xiv. 5), 


would appear from the context to have been in the plain 
in this neighbourhood. The site has not been recovered. 

Mekonah (Neh. xi. 28), Mechanum of the Onomasticon, 
is stated to have been five Roman miles from Eleuthero- 
polis, in that case identical with Khurbet Mekenna, five 
miles north 'of Tell-es-Safi, where are two natural 
springs, with foundations and heaps of stones. The 
context, however, would seem to require a more southern 
site for Mekonah. 

Of Mahaz (1 Kings iv. 9), probably a little to the 
north of this on the frontier of Dan, no trace has been 

A little to the south of Beit-Jibrin, Mar'ash marks 
the Mareshah of Joshua. It commanded one of the 
passes from the hill country, and was fortified by Reho- 
boam after the severance of the two kingdoms. It is 
probably identical with Moresheth Gath (Mic. i. 14). 
To Mareshah the vast hordes of Zerah, the Ethiopian, 
advanced up the Philistine plain, when he was met and 
routed by Asa (2 Chron. xiv.), and pursued to Gerar. It 
was the birthplace of Eliezer the Prophet (2 Chron. xx. 
37), and is denounced along with other cities of this 
region by Micah (i. 15). It bore an important part in 
the history of the Maccabees. Its ruins are not very 
extensive : the materials having been employed in 
building Eleutheropolis. Next to it both Joshua and 
Micah name Achzib, which has been identified as Ain 
Kezbeh, near Beit Nettif, noticed l)y Jerome as near 
Adullam, and is probably the same as Chezih (Gen. 
xxxviii. 5), where Judah was when his son Shelah was 
born. It is twice mentioned in the Amarna tablets as 
lield by the Egyptians. 

KdlaJi, the modern Kila, lies half-way between Mare- 
shah and Hebron, and really far retired from the plain. 
It was a place of great antiquity, and frequently 
mentioned iu the Amarna letters, both by Adonizedek, 


and Suyardata its Egyptian governoi*, holding out 
against the 'Aheri (Hebrews). Rescued by David from 
an attack of the Phihstines, the only interest attached 
to tlie name is connected with his history. It was then 
a walled city, and David remained there for some time 
along with Abiathar, who alone of the priests at Nob 
escaped, and fled thither with the sacred ephod ; but 
after a short sojourn it was revealed to David by the 
Lord that the men of Keilah would betray him to Saul, 
and he left the ungrateful city. 

Ilareth, the place in Judah to which David fled after 
his sojourn in Moab, may reasonably be looked for in 
the neighbourhood of Keilah, and we find it at one of 
the heads of the Valley of Elah, in the small Arab 
village of Kharas, a name embodying all the essential 
letters of the Hebrew word, with a slightly different 
termination. It is mentioned in the Amarna tablets, 
in a letter from the King of Jerusalem, as Harti 
Cirmiol, and as having been overrun by the 'Aheri. It 
belongs rather to the hill country than to the Shephe- 
lah ; as does also Nezih, the next city mentioned, lying 
north-west of Keilah, and six and a half miles east of 
Beit-Jibrin. It is now known as Beit Nusib. Its 
remains are unimportant. In the Amarna collection 
occurs a letter from the Chief of Nasiba, announcing 
his going with chariots and horses to join the Egyptian 
soldiers. The Philistian plain was easily accessible by 
chariots by way of the broad valley of Elah, both from 
Nezib and Keilah. 

A little north-west of this was AshnaTi (Asena), 
identified with Idhnah, five miles south-east of Beit- 
Jibrin, of which we know nothing further, nor of 
Jiphthah, the next city given. The next two cities 
of this group, Aslian, probably identical with 
Chorashan (1 Sam. xxx. 30), and Ether, must have 
been far to the south, towards Beersheba, and were, 


from their position, subsequently allotted to the tribe of 
Simeon. The latter may be represented by Tell Athar, 
a little to the north-east of Beersheba, and the former 
by 'Aseilah. Lt.-Col. Conder has suggested more 
northerly sites for these, at Khurbet Atr and Khurbet 
Hazanah, respectively one mile north-west and five 
miles south of Beit-Jibrin. 

Lihnah, the last of the number, has left no trace in 
the local nomenclature, but with good reason is identi- 
fied with Arak el ^[ensldyeli, a ruin-covered hill or deso- 
late heap, five miles north-west of Beit-Jibrin. This 
locality also agrees with the indications in Joshua's 
route, who, after the capture of Makkedah, marched 
asrainst Libnah and thence to Lachish. It was after- 
wards one of the cities of Judah, appropriated to the 
priests. It is mentioned as having rebelled against 
King Jehoran, son of Jehoshaphat, but is chiefly 
remarkable as the place besieged by Sennacherib after 
the fall of Lachish, and near which the angel of the 
Lord destroyed his host. Hamutal, the queen of Josiah, 
was a native of Libnah. It does not subsequently 
appear in history. 

The modern village of Arak el Menshiyeh is on the 
plain, but immediately behind it to the north is a 
knoll of soft white limestone, two hundred and fifty feet 
high, the sides of which have been scarped. This was 
doubtless the citadel. We may remark that the name 
Libnah signifies " white." 

The identification of Lt.-Col. Conder difiiers from this, 
in fixing Lihiiah at Beit-Jibrin itself ; Sir C. Warren 
would place it at Ibna, on the great coast road. 

We now come to the group of fifteen cities of Judah, 
the first enumerated in tlio roll of Joshua, and whicli 
lay north and east of Philistia. Few of them are of 
any historical importance, and their chief interest arises 
from their connection with the history of Samson, and 


David's exploit against Goliath. Gederoth {" sheep- 
cotes"), GedertJtaitii ("the two sheep-cotes"), and 
AdWiahti, are marked by the ruins called Jedireh and 
Hadid, in the plain, near the north boundary line of 
Judah. Sharami or Shaaraim, the next city mentioned, 
occurs as on the route of the flight and slaughter of the 
Philistines after the fall of Goliath, on their way from 
the Valley of Elah (Wady Sumt) toward Ekron, west 
of Suweikeh — perhaps Tell Zakariya, a large hill, with 
steep terraced sides and caves, on the south side of the 
valley, and which must be passed in escaping to Gath. 

Tell Zakariya was evidently an important site, from 
the ancient well and troughs, and the tombs around it, 
as well as the traces of walls. SJiaarcmn is enumerated 
among his conquests in this part of the country by 
Thothmes III. at Karnak. Conder suggests as a probable 
identification Saireh on the road from Beit-Jibrin to 
Jerusalem ; proposing at the same time to recognize 
in Zakariya, the following place Azekah. He has 
also pointed out the possibility of Azekah being repre- 
sented by the ruin Zak, east of Gaza. 

Azekah, on the Wady Sumt, a little to the west of 
Socoh, probably the modern Deir el Aashek, on the 
south side of the Valley of Sorek, eight miles north of 
Socoh and a little further from Makkedah, is several 
times mentioned; first, as the place to which Joshua 
pursued the Canaanites after the battle of Beth-horon ; 
and, again, as the spot beyond which the Philistines 
encamped before the battle in which Goliath was killed. 
It was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chron. xi. 9), was one 
of the few remaining fortified cities of Judah at the 
time of the Babylonish Captivity (Jer. xxxiv. 7), and 
was re-colonized after the return (Neh. xi. 30). 

The whole scene of the defiance of David by Goliath 
lies here before us. As Azekah lies on the south side 
of a wide and not very deep valley, Shoclioh, or Socoh^ 


taken both by Thotlimes III and Shiskak (now Su- 
weikeh), commands the valley on the north side, retired 
about a mile from its centre. The valley is the Vale of 
Elah or "the terebinth," now Wady Sumt, i. e. ^'of the 
acacia." The name of a different tree, equally charac- 
teristic of the district, has been adopted ; but still the 
butm, or terebinth, grows, and the celebrated butm of 
es Sumt is probably the largest tree of the kind in Pales- 
tine. A little way below Suweikeh, or Socoh, two other 
wadys fall into it, the whole forming an open space 
covered with fields, opposite which, probably, the Philis- 
tines encamped on the south side, at Ephes-dammim, now 
Damun. In the centre is a pebbly torrent bed, '* smooth 
stones of the brook," and stunted acacias growing here 
and there. The Israelites were camped nearer Socoh, 
on the north side. On the intervening open space the 
unequal contest took place between the champion of the 
Philistines and the youthful hero, described in 1 Sam. xvii. 

Adullam, the city named next, seems to have been a 
little to the east, due north of Beit-Jibrin, probably at 
Deir Dubban, where are many of the vast caves mentioned 
above, any one of which may have been the Cave of 
Adullam which served as the hiding-place of David. The 
traditional site near the Dead Sea at Khureitun has no 
authority. Adullam, as these caves would indicate, was 
a very ancient place, mentioned in the life of Judah 
(Gen. xxxviii. 1), and the seat of a Canaanite king. 
It was fortified by Rehoboam, and re-settled after the 

Recent research has very strongly confirmed the con- 
jecture, previously founded on historical grounds alone, 
that here must be placed the Cave of Adullam. In the 
Valley of Elah, half-way between Sochoh and Keilah, and 
about eight miles north-east of IJeit-.Jibrin, lie a collec- 
tion of ruins, liaving the name Ayd-el-Miyeh — the Arabic 
ecjuivalent of Adullam. They are in a commanding 


position in the valley, and consist of confused remains 
of dwellings, with wells still open, aqueducts, tombs, hill 
terraces for cultivation, and rock fortifications. x\bout 
half-a-mile noi-th-west of the principal group of ruins, near 
the crest of the ridge, and having a commanding outlook 
both up and down the valley, and between 400 and 500 
feet above it, are a number of extensive caverns, some 
of w^iich have evidently been artificially enlarged. The 
heaps of stones, and ruins on the crest of the hill bear 
the name of Khurbet ed Sheikh Madhkur. There are 
three principal caves, not very large, but having abundant 
space for the accommodation of David's band. Lt.-Col. 
Conder has pointed out that these caves exactly meet 
every condition of the problem, historical, topographical, 
and philological. They are all smoke-blackened, and 
are still regularly used at certain times of the year as 
dwellings both for man and beast. There is a good water 
supply. Here is the key to the defence of the richest 
corn country of Judea, which otherwise lay open to the 
inroad of marauders from Gath and the Philistian plain 
up the Valley of Elah. The city itself was evidently 
one of the strongholds by which the raids of the 
Philistines upon the fertile corn land of Judali could 
be held in check. 

Just to the north of Socoh, on the edge of the hill 
country, was another Canaanitish royal city, Jarinuthi 
destroyed by Joshua — the modern village of Yarmuk. 
It has no subsequent historical importance. 

The remaining cities of this group continue to occur 
as we proceed northward. We pass Beth-sheinesJi and 
enter the borders of Dan. With the history of the 
Danito hero, Samson, several of these places are asso- 
ciated. Indeed, two of them, J'Jshtao/ and Zora/i, or Zareah, 
were afterwards assigned to Dan. They are recognized 
in the modern Sur'ah and Yeshiia, about two miles 
apart, and two and a half miles north of Beth-shcmesh. 


Zorali is referred to in one of the Amarna letters 
written from Keilali, and it occurs in the Karnak list 
of the towns taken by Thothmes III. Thus it was a 
place of some importance before the Exodus. Surah, 
or Zorah, the home of Manoah and the birthplace of 
Samson, is on the edge of the hill country, 1150 feet 
above the sea, on the southern end of a crest overlooking 
the valley of Sorek. From it we can see the line the 
milch kine must have taken in coming up with the 
Ark of the Lord from Ekron, and the valley the men 
ascended in carrying it up to Kirjath-jearim. 

On the opposite side of the valley, low down, is the 
ruin of Ain Shems, the ancient BetJi-sheinesh or Ir 
Shemesh (Josh. xix. 41), one of the border cities of Judah, 
just two miles from the Philistian plain, and with a 
wide sloping valley still covered with corn-fields as it 
was when " the men of Beth-shemesh were reaping their 
wheat harvest in the valley," and rejoiced to welcome 
the returning Ark (1 Sam. vi. 13), There are springs in 
the valley below, and behind the scanty ruins are some 
rock-hewn tombs. From the Amarna tablets it appears 
to have been before the conquest an Egyptian station 
on the road to Jerusalem. 

Close to Ain Shems is a great rock, still bearing the 
name of Deir Eban, the great Ehen, or rock, on which 
the Ark was placed on arriving from Ekron (ver. 14), 
called (v. 18) the great stone of Abel. This tradition of 
the "holy rock" is most remarkable. 

Beth-shemesh was one of the cities of the priests, and 
was fortified by Eehoboam. Here was the scene of the 
defeat of Judah by Jehoash, King of Israel, when King 
Amaziah was taken prisoner and Jerusalem partly dis- 
mantled and the Temple plundered (2 Kings xiv. 11). 
In the time of Ahaz it was taken by the Philistines. 

Still standing at Zorah, and looking across the valley 
further w^estward to the opposite crest, we can see the 


ruin of Tibneh, the ancient Timnath — the place whei^e 
the Patriarch Judah kept his flocks, and to which *'he 
went up," intimating that it was on higher ground than 
the plain. Samson went down to it to visit his be- 
trothed, a woman of Timnath. It is not in the plain, 
but 740 feet above the sea ; and Samson, in going to it 
from Zorah, would have to descend 700 feet into the 
valley and then re-ascend 350 feet. Vineyards and olives 
still line the sides of the hill (Judg. xv. 5), and corn 
waves in the valley as when Samson turned the jackals 
loose with the firebrands, and the Philistines came tip to 
Timnath and burnt Samson's wife and her father with 
tire. Timnath was an important place in later Jewish 
history, and the fourth of the military cities at the time 
of the destruction of Jerusalem. It is now desolate. 

Yeshua, probably Eshtaol, is on a hill in the other 
direction, two miles eastward from Zorah. Between 
them in the hollow was Mahaneh Dan, the fortified 
camp of the warlike Danites in their constant struggles 
with the Philistines, now known as Wady ed Mutluk. 
Here, among the old warriors of the tribe, Samson's 
boyhood was passed, and *' the Spirit of the Lord began 
to move him " (Judg. xiii. 55) ; and hither, after his 
last exploit, his body was brought to rest in the burying- 
place of Manoah, his father. 

From Zorah and Eshtaol came the daring band who 
crossed the whole territory of Israel, and surprised and 
destroyed Laish, under Mount Hermon, making the 
Dan of the north a more familiar name than the old 
Dan of the Plain of Sharon. 

On the opposite side of the great valley which here 
forms the boundary of the tribe of Judah to the north, 
is a remarkable rocky knoll crowned by a village, Beit 
'Atab, pr()))a})ly the Jioch J'Jtani, nuMitioned in the 
Lachish tablet as A tint, a place fortified by the rebels 
against Kgypt ; a strong defensive position, though 



lower than the main ridge behind. Hence the expression, 
the men of Judah " came down to the rock Etam." There 
is a unique rock-tunnel running down from the village 
eastward towards the principji^ spring, evidently of most 
ancient work, and admirably adapted for Samson's 
place of concealment, when he " went down and dwelt 
in the top of the rock Etam " (Judg. xv. 8). It is almost 
impossible for any one unacquainted with the locality 
to discover the entrance to the tunnel. Of Lehi and En 
Hakkore, scenes of Samson's exploits, we find no trace. 

The five remaining cities of this group seem to have 
been crowded in this populous district, about sixteen 
miles west of Jerusalem. Ashnah — the Esna of later 
writers, — the modern Asalin, is quite close to Zorah 
(Sureh). Engannmi, now Umm Jina, mentioned in the 
Amarna tablets ; and Tappuah (apricot or apple), which 
evidently took its name from the apricots grown so 
plentifully in this district, now Artuf, lie not far apart. 
For Ena7}i, Conder suggested Kafr Wady 'Alin, close 
to Beth-shemesh ; but by the aid of the Amarna tablets, 
where it is referred to as ' Anana, he fixes it as Kafr 
'Ana, five miles east of Makkedah, and the head springs 
of the stream which flows past that place. Zanoah, the 
modern Zanu'a, still exists as a village, two miles 
south-east of Zorah. 

From this group we proceed naturally to the heritage 
of Dan, i. e. the northern portion of the low country, or 
^Sharon, as distinguished from Philistia. Eighteen cities 
are allotted to Dan in Josh. xix. 40 — 46. Five of these — 
Ekron, Timnath, Zorah, Eshtaol, and Ir iShemesh, the 
latter mentioned in the tablets — have been already con- 
sidered ; for Ir Shemesh, " the mount of the sun," is only 
the old name of Beth-shemesh, '' the house of the sun." 
These were the border cities south and east. Of the 
others, with a single exception, we know scarcely any- 
thing, and few of the sites can be clearly identified. The 


heritage of Dan was the smallest of all, yet the richest, 
extending, according to Josephus, from the foot of Carmel 
down the whole coast-line. But long after the partition 
of the land, '' the inheritance of the Danites had not 
fallen to them among the tribes of Israel " (Judg. xviii. 
1). The old possessors would not yield that rich plain 
of Sharon without a hard struggle ; " and the Amorites 
forced the children of Dan into the mountains, for they 
would not suffer them to come down into the valley " 
(Judg. i. 34). It w^as only with the help of their 
neighbour Ephraim that they were able to wrest a 
portion from them. 

It is to be observed that the genealogies of Dan al'e 
omitted in 1 Chronicles. The blessings both of Jacob 
and of Moses foretell long wars and struggles as the 
portion of this valiant tribe, w'liich on coming out of 
Egypt w^as only exceeded by Judah in the number of its 
fighting men. Of its allotted cities, we find, from Judg. 
i. 35, that iShaalbi?/t and Ajalon were long kept by the 
Amorites. The former is probably Selbik, in the same 
district. Salabimi is mentioned in a letter from 
Adonizedek, King of J.erusalem, written apparently from 
Makkedah, as having been taken and held by the 
Hebrew chiefs (Iberi), after the battle of Ajalon. 
Ajalon, " the place of deer," is certainly Yalo, several 
miles north of it, close to the road from Jaffa to 
Jerusalem. It was on the frontiers of Judah, Benjamin, 
and Ephraim, and stands on the side of a long hill 
which forms the southern boundary of a fine valley of 
corn-fields, that Valley of Ajalon (now Merj ibn Omeir) 
which witnessed the tremendous rout of the Amorites 
by Joshua, and over which the Captain of Israel bid 
the moon stand still. It was afterwards fortified as a 
frontier city by llehoboam. It had long been a place 
of importance, recorded by Thothmcs III. in his list of 
his couiiuests, jind mentioned in the Amarna tablets 



long subsequently, as having been destroyed by the 
Hebrew (I) invaders. It was taken by Shishak, accord- 
ing to his list of captured cities. 

^^ Mount Ileres^^ is mentioned along with Ajalon 
(Judg. i. 35). Some five miles north of Ajalon is the 
village of Ibn Harith. Five miles due east of this place 
is a very prominent and commanding hill-top called 
Batn Harasheh. Further north lie Haris and Kefr 

^-^\ -^^ 



Haris. All these names may be connected with that of 
Mount Heres. (Conder.) 

Jethlah, rendered by Silatha in the LXX., remains in 
the modern village of Shilta, not far from Yalo, a little 
to the north-west of the lower Beth-horon, between 
Ajalon and Elon. Lt.-Col. Conder suggests Beit Tul, 
three miles south-east of Yalo. Elon is possibly Beit 
EUo, in the plain, and Thimnatha, not far off, the 
northern Tibneh, to be distinguished from the southern 
Tibneh, which represents Tmmatli (p. 66). 


The Danite city Gath-viinmon, which stood, doubtless, 
in the lower plain, is still unrecognized. 

Me-jarko7i, i.e. " Yellow waters," must have been on 
the turbid river 'Aujeh, which enters the sea three miles 
north of Jaffa, and was the northern boundary of Dan 
to the foot of the hills. The site has not been re- 
covered. Rahkon is preserved in Tell er Rakkeit, close 
to the shore, north of Nalir el Aujeh, the ruins and 
cisterns of which are now all covered with blown 
sand. Thothmes III. mentions it among his conquests. 
BaaJath, which occurs in the list of Danite cities 
between Gibbethon and Jehud, may be represented by 
the ruins of Bel 'Ain, discovered by Lt.-Col. Conder in 
the required position in the Plain of Sharon. Beneberah 
has left its traces in Ibn Ibrak, in the same neighbour- 
hood ; Eltekeh is most probably Beit Likieh, north-east 
of Latrun, and at the edge of the hills. Jehud may be 
traced in Yehudiyeh, a village in the plain, seven miles 
from the sea, east of Joppa ; and Gibbethon, to the north 
of this, west of Samaria, was held by the Philistines 
(1 Kings XV. 27), and besieged by Omri (1 Kings xvi. 
15). It may probably be Kibbieh, north-east of Lydda. 
Very different have been the fortunes of the last of 
the cities of Dan, Japho, or Joppa, now Jaffa, or Yafa, 
which has a continuous history in both sacred and 
profane story to the present, caused chiefly by its being 
the seaport of Jerusalem. In the monotonous lino of 
coast, one elevated knoll rises about half-way between 
the Desert and Carmel, covered with buildings, the 
solitary existing landing-place for Judea. Joppa has 
been often destroyed, but rebuilt after the same old 
fashion, with curious beehive-shaped little domes for 
roofs. Its houses still iill the extent of the old walls, 
whilst a single gate opens on the road to Lydda, the 
fii'st stage towards Jerusalem. 

Its New Testament interest is conccntx'atcd in the 



fact of St. Peter's sojourn in the house of Simon the 
tanner, when the disciples had brought him thither from 
Lydda on the occasion of the death of Tabitha. But 
with that visit is bound up, not only tlie history of the 
resurrection from death of that disciple, the benefactress 
of her sex ; but also at Joppa the new dispensation was 
first declared open to Gentile as well as Jew, by the 
vision of Peter on the housetop. The pilgrim is still 
shown Simon's house. The wall of its yard is washed 


by the waves. There is an old deep well in the court, 
notched and furrowed by the water-drawing of many 
generations. Tradition says that here was a tannery, 
and that the well was for its use. No place could be 
more secluded than where Peter prayed, if this be, 
indeed, the spot, shut out from view of the houses 
above, and close to the wall, away from the city's hum. 
There is the sea spread out, across which the glad 
tidings were soon to be borne to another continent. 


Along the shore, by a curve in the coast line, might be 
seen the road to Csesarea, on which the messengers were 
hastening from Cornelius. Behind, but out of sight, 
and hidden by a forest of palm-gardens and fruit-trees, 
was Lydda, with its disciples. 

The history of Joppa stretches many centuries on 
either side of its central New Testament events. 
Thothmes III. records it among his conquests, and 
several of the letters of the Amarna collection are 
dated from Yapu, i. e. Joppa. Thus its importance 
stretches behind the time of Joshua. It has its place 
not only in Israelitish history, but in Grecian legend, in 
the story of the Crusades, and in the campaigns of 
Napoleon. Where the European traveller lands to-day, 
there the men of Tyre warped their rafts of cedar, 
floated down the coast from Lebanon, to be landed by 
Solomon's servants for the building of the Temple of 
the Lord. Here, too, by the charter of Cyrus, Ezra 
received his floats of cedar-trees from Lebanon for the 
building of the second Temple. It was at Joppa that 
Jonah took ship '' to flee from the presence of the 
Lord," and was cast to the great fish in his voyage 
from the same port where the Greek poets fabled that 
Perseus delivered the virgin Andromeda from the 

In later times Joppa has been the theatre of many 
struggles, as being the seaport of Jerusalem. It was 
the scene of the meeting of Maccabanis and Ptolemy. 
It was captured and recaptured and twice destroyed by 
the Romans. Again, it was overthrown by Saladin in 
tl»e Crusades. Three times in those wars were its 
fortifications destroyed — by Godfrey de P)Ouillon ; again, 
l)y our own Ptichard C^t'iir-de-Lion ; and, lastly, by St. 
Louis of France. Ever since the crescent has trodden 
down the cross in Syria, Arab, Mameluke, and French 
have e:i('li ill turn sacked Hie place; and the blood- 



stained treachery which dyes tlie last page in its story 
— its capture by Napoleon — will never be forgotten. 

Nine miles inland from Joppa, after passing the 
village Beit Dijan [Jkth-Dagon), we reach Lucid, the 
Lod of the Old Testament, Lydda of the New, and 
Di82^ol{s of later Greek writers. Within a few miles of 
it are Ono, Hadid, and Neballat (1 Chron. viii. 12), still 
bearing the names of Kefr 'Ana, Haditheh, and Beit 
Nebalah, mentioned only in later records. Lod and 
Ono are mentioned together in the list of towns taken 
by Thothmes III. The interest of Lydda concentrates 
in the visit of St. Peter when he healed ^neas, and 
was called to Joppa to raise Dorcas, "and those that 
dw^elt in (the plain of) Saron turned to the Lord ^' (Acts 
ix.). Lydda had an eventful history in the later Boman 
wars, and not less in those of the Crusades. Pelagius 
was once tried before a council of bishops at Lydda. 
It was the birthplace and burial-place of St. George, the 
patron saint of England ; and the church built liy 
Bichard Coeur-de-Lion is still a noble ruin, with a 
magnificent tower. Ludd is still a considerable village, 
buried in palm-groves. 

A very short distance east of Lydda is the village 
Jimzu, the Gimzo of 2 Chron. xxviii. 18 : and about 
six miles south-east of it are the scanty ruins of Bezeh, 
now Bezkah (Judg. i. 4). Baal-Shalisha is identified by 
Jerome with Sirisia, now Kh. Sirisia, fourteen miles 
north-east of Lydda. Conder suggests Kefr Thilth a 
little further on. Charashim, of 1 Chron. and Nehem., 
has its name preserved in the ruins called Kh. Hirsha, 
four and a half miles east of Yalo, and about twelve 
miles south-east of Lydda. Makaz, mentioned along 
with Beth-shemesh, remains undiscovered. 

On the road hence to Jerusalem, but twenty miles 
from that city, is the village of Am was, the ancient 
Eminaus-N'icopolis, but which must not be confounded 


with the Emmans of St. Luke, the site of which is 
much nearer to Jerusalem. 

During the lloman period, the ordinary military road 
-to the coast lay not by Lydda to Joppa, Imt by Gophna 
and Antipatris to Ciesarea, far to the north. Antijxitris 
was a military town, built l)y the Herods, forty-two 
miles from Jerusalem and twenty-six from Csesarea, on 
the site of Caphar Saba of Josephus. There is a modern 
village, Kefr Saba, two miles further from Ci^sarea, to 


i{uiNs OF c.t;sarea. 

wliicli tlie name seems to liave become attached after 
the original site was deserted. That site is plainly 
marked out at lias el Ain, where a largo artificial 
mound is covered with okl foundations, and on the 
simmiit is tlio ruined shell of the fine old castle of 
Miial)el; while ])cneatli it burst forth the springs of 
the Aujoh, the largest springs without oxce])tion in all 
Palestine, exceeding in volume those of tlu> Jordan at 


Tell Kadi. At the foot of the mountains, this was 
exactly the point whence it was convenient for the 
horsemen to accompany St. Paul to Oa?sarea without the 
foot-soldiers. Two Roman roads may be traced from 
it, north to Ca^sarea and southwards to Lydda, on the 
former of which a Roman milestone still stands. To 
this day part of the pavement remains on which St. 
Paul rode to Ca^sarea, and by which Pilate and Felix 
used to go up to Jerusalem. 

Ccesarea (to be carefully distinguished from the 
Cfesarea Philippi of the GospeLs) was an entirely new 
city and port built by Herod the Great, the official 
residence of himself and his successors, and, after them, 
of the Roman governors of Judea, Pilate, Felix, Festus, 
and others. It lay half-way between Joppa and Carmel, 
and is associated wath numerous and important events 
in the Acts of the Apostles. Here Philip the deacon 
resided (ch. viii. 40, xxi. 8). Here Peter admitted the 
first Gentile convert, the centurion Cornelius, into the 
Christian Church. Here Herod Agrippa was smitten 
and came to his awful end. Hence St. Paul embarked 
for Tarsus after his escape from Damascus ; and on his 
return from his second and third missionary journeys 
he visited Csesarea. Two years did he remain there 
bound in prison, remanded by Felix and by Festus, 
before he was sent as a prisoner to Rome. 

The harbour of C?esarea was altogether artificial, with 
a magnificent breakwater, and the city had splendid 
temples, theatre, and circus. It is now a scene of utter 
desolation with vast masses of ruin, many of them 
projecting into the sea, but with no human inhabitant 
within miles of the once sumptuous capital of Palestine. 

The only remaining town of Sharon is Dor, now the 
wretched village Tantura, allotted to Manasseh, but said 
by Josephus to have belonged to Dan. It had a harbour 
of some size : "Why did Dan remain in ships'?" The 


ruins are still extensive, projecting into the sea, while 
the old tower, broken as it is, is still a conspicuous 
landmark from afar. I found some fine fragments of 
carving: built into the modern hovels. Dor remained 
long in Canaanite possession, and its chiefs were sum- 
moned by Jabin, King of Hazor, to fight against Joshua 
(Josh. xi. 2). 




Bouudal-icB of the Hill Country — Absence of rivers — Netophah— Jattil* — Gosheli 
— Ani m — Eshtemoa — Shoclioh — Anab — Debir — Kirjath-sepher — Juttah — 
Jezreel — Zanoah— Maon — Carmel — Ziph — Castle of Kurmul — Nabal and 
Abigail — Zior — Duniali— Beth-Tappuah — Adoraim — Hebron — Machpelah — 
Mosque — Abraham's Oak — Manire — Halhul — Beth-Zur — Beth-Anoth— 
Gedor— Maarath — Tekoa — Beth-Haccerem — Frank Mountain — Khureitnn-^ 
Etam — Solomon's Pools — Bethlehem — Church of the Nativity — St^ Jerome 
— Shepherds — David's Well — Rachel's Tomb — Zelzah — Rephaim — Ruth — 
Kirjath-jearim — Kharhet 'Erma. 

From the low country of the coast we now turn east- 
ward to the third physical division of the territory of 
Judah, recognized constantly in Holy Writ as " the 
mountains," or the " hill country." The line of demarc- 
ation between it and " the south country " is very 
easily recognized, though they blend into each other. 
The great pasture district of the south melts into the 
hill country a few miles to the south of Hebron. The 
northern part of the " Negeb " presents the appearance 
of a long series of gently-rolling downs, wide shallow 
valleys, and broad rounded ridges. 

But a few hours before reaching Hebron the valleys 
become narrower and steeper, the hill-tops are sharper, 
the ridges are full of caves, natural or artificial — the 
dwellings of the Horites, or Cave-men, in olden times : 
and when we reach Debir we can fully understand the 
petition of Achsah to her father Caleb : " Give me a 
blessing : for thou hast given me a south land : give me 
also springs of water " (Judg. i. 15), as we see the 


springs gushing forth from the rocky side of the valley, 
and feel we are no longer in a " south land." Here the 
ruins of the cities of Judah begin to crowd upon ns. 
Almost every hill-top is marked by the groups of 
deserted dwellings — not grass-grown, like those .of the 
south, but with walls and narrow streets, bare and barren. 
Every name recalls some incident in the life of the 
Bethlehemite — Jattir, Lebaoth, Eshtemoa, Maon, Carmel, 
Ziph — ^scarcely altered in the Arabic vernacular from 
the old Hebrew. 

The register of Joshua gives thirty-eight cities in the 
hill country of Judah, divided into five topographical 
groups ; and even among these are omitted some of 
future distinction, as Bethlehem and Tekoa. In the 
New Testament history this region, with one important 
exception, scarcely bears any part. 

But it is impossible to wander among these hills 
without perceiving that the expression, " her towns," 
applied in the enumeration to many of the cities, was 
no mere figure of speech. The groups of ruins, " the 
desolate heaps " of Judah, far outnumber any catalogue 
of her cities that has come down to us. There are no 
streams, but many springs, and wells imiumerable. 

The hill country culminates at Hebron, but it slopes 
very little either east or west, forming throughout its 
whole extent a rugged plateau from Philistia to the Dead 
Sea : and its deeps dells, or wadys, are scarcely seen till 
we are upon them. They run for the most part east and 
west from the central ridge, and add immensely to the 
natural strength of the district, every nook of which is 
jilmost a natural fortress, independently of the cities 
wliose ruins crown every brow, whore once '* the Lion of 
Judah " crouched secure. The wells are sunk in hill and 
vale alike ; and all tlio hill-sides, ribbed with their 
parallel lines of terrace, once covered with gardens, vine- 
yards, and fig-trees, attest the indefatigable industry no 


less than the dense population of its ancient inhabitants. 
But the position of the towns and the character of the 
ruins are so constantly alike, that it is vain to attempt 
separate descriptions for each, save in very few instances. 

The first group of eleven cities, given in Josh. xv. 
48 — 51, comprises the hill region south-west of Hebron, 
that which is traversed in coming up from Beersheba. 
All these eleven have been more or less satisfactorily 
identified — the number of unidentified desolate cities far 
exceeding any number given in Scripture ; but the local 
names, so far as yet ascertained, do not help us to assign 
the exact sites. Giloh, the birthplace of Ahitophel, is 
possibly Kirbet Jala. Sliamir is probably represented 
by the ruins of Somerah, near Debir and Anab. Holoib 
or Hilen (1 Chron. vi. 58) is conjecturally identified by 
Conder with Beit Alam, a little to the south of Beit 
Netitf > anciently Netoijhah. Jattir is, so far as we know, 
tli« furthest south-west of the number, on the border of 
the hill country. 

From this border, as we travel northwards, the ruins 
follow fast and thick one after another. A large portion 
of the houses remain intact ; true troglodyte dwellings, 
chiefly long archways, either the vaults of houses or the 
roofing of streets, just as, to this day, many of the streets 
of Hebron are dark tunnels, with an occasional glim- 
mer of light through, openings in the archways. 

Jattir, which is very perfect and still called ' Attir, one 
of the haunts of David in his exile, and to which he 
used to send presents — one of the cities allotted, with 
its suburbs, to the priests— stands on a green knoll, in 
an amphitheatre of brown rocky hills studded with 
natural caves. The writer counted upwards of thirty 
arched crypts remaining entire within the broken walls, 
some longer and some shorter, but most of them with- 
out end walls, as though they had been passages or streets 
with houses over them. They are generally eighteen or 


twenty feet long, though I measured one forty feet. 
Those of which the gable-ends were built up, had 
.square doorways, generally with ancient carvings over 
them. There were several tiers of large dressed stones, 
forming the ground-plan of a square building, probably 
the church which existed here in the time of Jerome. 
Outside the town, in two places, lay the under stones 
of very large oil-presses, an undeniable evidence of the 
existence of olive-trees of old, where trace neither of 
tree nor shrub remains. The ancient terracing and the 
"vine heaps " on the hills remain, and there are many 
wells, all now dry and partially choked with rubbish. 
But there is no human inhabitant. 

An hour north of Jattir we come on another deserted 
city, very similar to it, called Bafat, with its oil-presses 
and very large ruined church, into which are built 
fragments of yet more ancient architecture. Probably, 
from its position, this may be the Goshen of Josh. xv. 
51. But Lt.-Col. Conder assigns Goshen to the modern 
Lekiyeh, and hyeel to Rafat. 

Lying midway between these two to the eastward is 
a third desolate site. El Ghuwein, the Anlni of Joshua, 
the names having identical meanings. Anim must have 
been a place of some importance in pne-Israelite times, 
as Thothmes mentions it in his list of conquests. It is 
probably the llaanem of which Shishak records the 
capture. Ghuwein is eleven miles south of Hebron. 
Half-an-hour north of Bafat we reach Semu'a, the ancient 
Eshtemoa, and now the first inhabited place in the whole 
distance from Egypt to Palestine. A short way before 
reaching it, cultivation begins to appear in the valleys, 
in the shape of a few inifenccd patches of corn. At 
Kshtemoa, too, we meet with the first trees — a grove of 
olives, a shrunken, decrepit witness of former fatness. 
It must have been a flourisliing place to the time of the 
Mohammedan conquest ; for there are many Greek 


remains, among them the walls of a fine Basilica or 
Karly Greek church. It is 2225 feet above the sea. 
AVitliin sight of Eshtemoa, due west, between three 
and four miles distant, we could distinctly mark the 
ruined heaps and broken walls of Suweikeh, the ancient 
Shochoh, or Socoh, another city of this group. North 
again, about equi-distant from Shochoh and Eshtemoa, 
are the ruins of Anah, the name of which has been 
handed down in the speech of men unaltered for more 
than three thousand years. 

Kirjath-sannah, or Kirjath-sepher (Judg. i. 11), the 
same as Dehir (Josh. xv. 15), lay between Socoh and 
Anab, south-west of Hebron, near Dannah, identified by 
Lt.-Col. Conder with the modern Idhna, eight miles west 
of Hebron on the south side of the Wady at Afranj. It 
is the Jedna of Jerome, and is on the western boundary 
of the district. It was taken by Joshua after Hebron, 
or rather, as we see by the more detailed account, by 
Othniel, for love of Achsah, daughter of Caleb, and was 
one of the cities afterwards allotted to the priests. It 
does not appear in later history. 

Debir, in the ^' south," i. e. the " dry " land or Negeb, 
must have been at some little distance from the springs 
or rather pools (Hebr. gullotli) of water. It must have 
been, as a royal Canaanitish city, an important place. 
Every condition is fulfilled by the large village of El 
Dhaheriyeh, between Socoh and Anab, with an immense 
number of most ancient cave-dwellings, wells, and 
cisterns. From it five ancient roads lead, south-east to 
Jattir, east to Socoh and Eshtemoa, west to Anab, south 
to Beersheba, and north to Hebron, all of which show 
the remains of pavements and side-walls. Large stones 
have been found at the distance of 3000 cubits, marking 
the boundary of the priests' lands round the city. 

The upper and l^wer springs may be found in the Seil 
el Dilbeh, a secluded valley, west of Yutta, and six and 



a half miles from El Dliaheriyeli. There are both upper 
and lower springs, feeding a brook which runs through 
little gardens for four or five miles, a phenomenon 
indeed in the Negeb, where no other springs occur. 
Here there are in all fourteen springs divided into three 
groups, which feed the stream. 

The mention of Kirjath-sepher and Kirjath-sannah, 
being names by which Debir was also known, throw 
light upon some recently exhumed facts in the prai- 
Israelite history of the land. It would appear that 
Debir was the Amorite, the other two the Hittite appel- 
lations of the place. The root of Debir may signify 
either "the back" or " the sanctuary." Kirjath-sannah 
signifies the "town of instruction," in fact "university." 
Kirjath-sepher would mean " the city of books," but, 
by the aid of Egyptian papyri, we find that it ought to 
be read " Kirjath-sopher," the " city of scribes " (a 
simple correction of a point in the Hebrew). These 
latter names are rather descriptive than original, the 
proper title seems to have been Debir, the " sanctuary." 
Now, as these names existed in the time of Abraham, we 
see that he entered a country whose inhabitants were 
already familiar with books and literature, and the 
tablets of Tell Amarna show us that the history and 
literature of Chaldjea must have been known to the 
learned scribes. Among them ar'e fragments of Baby- 
lonian legends, one of which endeavoured to account for 
the creation of nuin and the introduction of sin into the 

The tablet of Lachish shows the governor of the 
Canaanite city corresponding with an Egyptian Pharaoh 
in the character and language of r>i\bylon, as an English 
diplomatist of the present day niiglit correspond in 
French. On the walls of the llaniesoum at Thebes are 
two geographical lists, which mark two lines of march 
taken by the troops of Eameses II. In tlie first of these, 


when he pursued the eastern inland route through 
central Judea and Moab, the district of Debir was 
mentioned. Tliis, we must remember, was more than 
a century earlier than the conquering march of 
Kameses III. 

The second group given by Joshua centres round 
Hebron ; the third, consisting of ten cities, lies to the 
south and east of the second, and close to that we have 
been examining. Jiittah, the modern Yutta, is the 
centre of this group. It was one of the cities of the 
priests, all of whose cities were in Judah, while all the 
Levitical towns were distributed among the other tribes, 
and is interesting as the traditional residence of Zach- 
ariah the priest, and the birthplace of John the Baptist, 
and perhaps the very place where Mary visited Elisabeth 
(Luke i. 39). Its remains are very like those of Jattir 
and Eshtemoa, but seemed to me less decayed than those 
of any other town I examined, and there are still a few 
inhabitants in hovels among the ancient buildings. 

Of the towns named after it — Jezreel whence David 
took his wife Ahinoam, and Jokdeam — we have not yet 
found traces in the Arabic vernacular. Gibeah (i. e. 
" the hill ") is identified by Conder with Jeb'a, a small 
village by an ancient road, with caves near it, more than 
eight miles south-west of Bethlehem. Jerome calls it 
Gabatha, containing the traditional tomb of the Prophet 
Habakkuk. Near it is a ruin called Habeik. It is 
mentioned in the list of conquests by Thothmes III. as 
Kebau, and several times in the Amarna tablets in 
letters from Adonizedek as having been taken by the 
invading Iberi (or Khabiri). Tlmnah (Josh. xv. 57), 
doubtfully identified with the Tajmna or Tibneh of the 
list of Thothmes III., is probably the ruin Tibna, west 
of Bethlehem, near Jeb'a last mentioned, but a different 
place from Tibneh in the valley of Sorek, west of Bethle- 
hem, which represents the Timnah of Josh. xv. 10. 


Zanoali is represented by the ruined city Za'niita, lying 
south-west of the others, north of Jattir, and immediately 
west of Khirbet Yukin, which is probably the ancient 
Cain (R.V. Kain) mentioned in the list after Juttah and 
Zanoah. But there are numerous unidentified sites, as 
Susieh, Jembeh, Mirked, and Umm el Areis, each of 
which must have had several thousand inhabitants. 
None of these places recur in later history. 

There remain, however, three whose identification is 
undoubted, within five miles of each other, in a line from 
south to north, a little east of Juttah, Maon, Carmel, and 
Ziph, now Main, Kurmul, and Zif , all three immortalized 
by their connection with the romance of David's early 
history. Tell Main or Maon, the possession of Caleb 
and the birthplace of Nabal, stands on a hill surrounded 
by waste pasture lands, where David and his men were 
bathing when the treacherous Ziphites brought Saul 
down upon them. Here ranged the 3000 sheep and the 
1000 fifoats of Nabal. The hill is more elevated than 
the rest, but the ruins less distinct, though perfox'ated 
by caves as numerous. 

Down the hill and up the next rise, we soon reach the 
extensive ruins of Kurmul, the Carmel where Nabal 
sheared his flocks, the native place of Abigail the Car- 
melitess. Carmel, under exactly its present name, is men- 
tioned in one of Adonizedek's letters among the Amarna 
tablets, as having been possessed by the invaders. It had 
long before been captured by Thothmes III. It lies on the 
central high-road from Egypt to Jerusalem. ] Fere, in later 
times, Uz/iah had his vineyards (2 Chron. xxvi. 10). It 
became an important place and a Roman garrison. A 
fine castle surmounts the ancient ruins, built by Herod, 
in the walls of whi(Oi wo see tlio broad bevelled masonry 
of Jewish architecture ; and repaired by Crusaders \\m\ 
Saracens. The interior is vaulted, in two storeys, and 
there are many point<jd arches, with crypts intact. 


There is also a double-walled round tower and the 
remains of several churches ; and a little way down the 
hill, a hirket or large open reservoir, full of water, fed 
by a spring from a rock-cave mentioned in Crusading 
history. The hill Hachilah is probably the high hill 
bounded by deep valleys north and south, on which the 
I'uin Yekin (Cam) stands, now the ridge of El Kolah, 
commandinc: a view of the Dead Sea desert or Jeshimon. 
Three or four miles north we examined the ruins of 
Zi])h, now Tell Zif, as deserted as its neighbours, with 
very little left above ground, and not a vestige of the 
woods where David lurked : all is bare and desolate. 

We are now within three miles of Hebron, round which 
the second group of mountain cities clustered. None of 
them reappear in history. Arab may be traced in a 
very ancient site, a little to the east of Hebron, known 
as Khirbet el Arabiyeh (the Arab ruin). Durtiah, now 
Domeh, ten miles south-west of Hebron, and two and a 
half miles west of Arab, is an uninhabited ruin, doubt- 
fully identified by R. S. Poole with a name in the list 
of the conquests of Shishak. Eshean is probabTy the ruin 
Es Simia, two and a half miles west of Domeh ; Janam 
would answer to the village Beninaim, three miles east 
of Hebron. Beth-TappuaJi (the house of apricots), still 
with the same name Tulf uh, with caves near it, cisterns, 
and springs in the valley below, is three and a half miles 
west of Hebron. The apricots or apples from which it 
was named have disappeared, but the old terraces are 
still cultivated, and it lies in a nest of oliveyards and 
vineyards. Of xiphek no trace has been found, though a 
most ancient city, enumerated among his conquests by 
Thothmes III. Nor have we any trace of Humtah, the 
place next named. Zior is probably Sa'ir, a village with 
a spring, four and a half miles north of Hebron. 

Two and a half miles south of Tuffiih, is the large and 
flourishing village of Dura, with good springs, the ancient 



Adoraim, mentioned in the lists both of Thothmes III. 
and of Shishak among their conquests. It was fortified 
by Rehoboam. 

Six miles south of Dumah, on the direct road from 
Egypt, on a commanding height, 2040 feet above the 
sea, are the ruins of Dhaheriyeh now identified with 
Dehir. It has been supposed to be Beth-Zacharia ; 
where the great battle of Beth-Zacharia was fought 


between Antioclius Eupater and Judas 'JNIaccaba^us 
(I Mace. vi.). Tliat battle-field hivs been shown to be at 
Beit Hkaria, between Hebron and Bethlehem, a little to 
the west of the road. 

Ifehroii,, originally Kirjath-Arha, now El Kludil, v. e. 
" tlie friend" (of God), meaning Abniham, stands 3026 
feet above the sea, twenty Ivoniaii iiiih's south of Jeru- 
salem : it is Olio of the oldest existing cities in the 
worhl, ji livjil of Damascus in antiipiity, and still a 



thriving place. Its chief interest is in connection with 
the histories of Abraham and David. On its hill-sides, 
and in the valleys below, Abraham walked and com- 
muned with God. Beneath the huge walls which seal 
the access to the cave of Machpelah under the sacred 


Mosque, the dust of the Patriarchs moulders, or perhaps 
their embalmed bodies still remain. It was a city 
when Abraham entered Canaan, 3790 years ago. 
Josephus says it was 2300 years old in his day, and 
older than Memphis. Its first inhabitants were the 


giant race of the Anakim. In Abraham's time it was 
held by the Hittites who retained the Anakim name, 
while the Amorites, who possessed the surrounding 
country, knew it as Hebron. We are told it was built 
seven years before Zocm (Tanais) in Egypt — i. e. the 
Hittites seized and occupied it seven years before they 
established themselves at Zoan, and made that the capital 
of Lower Egypt. It is not mentioned in any of the lists 
of the Egyptian kings, as having been taken by them, 
excepting by Rameses III. in what was only a raid, not a 
conquest. In the field and cave of Machpelah, bought 
from Ephron the Hittite, were buried Sarah and 
Abraham, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. At the 
conquest it was the portion of Caleb, was afterwards 
assigned to the priests, and was one of the six cities of 
refuge. David reigned here over Judah seven and a 
half years before the murder of Ish-bosheth opened to 
him the sovereignty over the whole land. Its subsequent 
history is unimportant. Burned by Vespasian, taken 
by the Crusaders, retaken by the Saracens, it has had 
vicissitudes common to all the land. 

There is nothing striking in the houses or streets. 
The Great Mosque or Haram, over the cave of Mach- 
pelah, is the one spot of all-absorbing interest. AVe 
were unable to do more than look within the sacred 
enclosure. To the Prince of Wales, accompanied by 
Dean Stanley, was accorded the unique privilege of 
entering and examining the Moslem sanctuary which 
covers the Patriarchs' tombs. Shrines are shown for all 
tlie Patriarchs ; but the cavern below is completely 
closed from inspection, except by a small hole in the 
})averaont, down whicli no light is admitted. The outer 
wall of the area is about '200 feet long by 115 wide, and 
upwards of 50 feet high, without a single window or 
opening of any kind, except the doorways to the nt)rtli. 
It eml)races not a level space, but the side of a very 


steep hill, just such as would include a sepulchral cave. 
The stones are sumptuous in style and dressing, like 
those of the great platform of the Temple area at 
Jerusalem. Some are between 30 and 40 feet long by 
3^, or 4 feet. There are shallow pilasters 2!y feet 
wide and 5 feet between each, running evenly to the 
top ; and there is a simple and an austere grandeur 
about the massive plainness of the ancient wall which 
not even the paltry Saracenic addition on its top and 
the two minarets at the corners can affect. It is 
patriarchal in its magnificent simplicity. There is 
every reason to believe that this wall is the work of the 
royal Solomon, or perhaps of his greater father. It was 
far older than the time of Herod, and Josephus extols 
its beauty. 

There are two enormous reservoirs of massive stone, 
one at the south, the other at the north end of the city. 
The former was " the pool " by which David taught a 
higher morality to Eastern conquerors, and hanged up 
the murderers of his rival Ish-bosheth. The well SiraJi, 
where Abner was before his assassination by Joab, is a 
little off the road, and still called Ain Sarah. 

About a mile and a half west of Hebron is a famous 
oak, one of the largest in Palestine, 22 feet in circum- 
ference, and the representative to modern pilgrims of 
Abraham's Oak of Mamre. It is not, however, its 
descendant, for Abraham's tree was a terebinth, while 
this is a holm-oak. 

A walk up this valley, called, probably incorrectly, 
the Yale of Eshcol, explains at once that catacomb of 
perished cities, the hill country of Judah. Not an inch 
of space is lost. Terraces, where the ground is not 
too rocky, support the soil. Ancient vineyards cling to 
the lower slopes ; olive, mulberry, fig, almond, and pome- 
granate trees fill every available cranny to the very 
crest ; while the bottom of the valley is carefully tilled 



for corn, carrots and cauliflowers, which in summer give 
place to a second crop of melons and cucumbers. 
Streamlets of fresh water trickle on each side of the path. 
Two interesting manufactures are still carried on in 
Hebron, the preparation of skin bottles and glass-works. 
About two miles north of Hebron is a very interest- 


iiio- ruin, now called Ramoh or Pvamel, said to be the 
ancient Mamre, and whore Abraham's celebrated tere- 
})iuth once stood, under which, after the final overthrow 
of the Jews at Bother, a.d. 135, thousands of captives 
were sold as slaves The tree has long since perished ; but 
a few courses of the great Basilica, erected here by Con- 
atantine, still remain, one 214 feet long and the other 


162, tlie stones being many of them 15 feet ])y 3 and 4 
feet ; and Abraham's well by its side, built like those of 
Beersheba, 17 feet in diametei', still contains water. On 
the hill above, Abraham could easily have seen the 
ascending smoke of the Cities of the Plain. 

North of Hebron lay the fourth group of six mountain 
cities given by Josh\ia. A mile north of Rameh we come 
on the first of them, Halhul, where the little village still 
bears the same name unaltered. On the hill on the 
opposite side of the road is the next, Beth-Zur^ still 
called Beit-Sur, a strong natural position four miles north 
of Hebron, commanding the route to Jerusalem and the 
scene of many desperate encounters in the Maccaba^an 
struggles. A mile to the east of Halhul are the ruins of 
Beth-Anoth, another of these cities taken by Shishak. 
It is still called Beit-'Aniin. 

Bethel or BetUuel (Josh, xii, 16, xix, 4) is to be placed at 
Beit Aula, five miles west of Halhul. Meronotlt is possibly 
to be found in Kh. Marna, four miles north of Halhul. 

A little to the north of Halhul are some important 
ruins, named Khirbet Kiieizibah, identical with Cliozeba 
(1 Chron, iv. 22), a city of Judah, evidently in the hill 
country. It is interesting to find the archaic name 
remaining unchanged. 

About three miles further north and two miles west 
of the road from Hebron to Bethlehem, another hill is 
crowned by the desolate ruins of Gedor, now Jedur. But 
an important group of ruins occurs one mile before 
Jedur, called Beit-Ummar, and which can be scarcely any 
other than Maarath of Joshua. The wady in which it 
stands still bears the name of Wady el Ma'hair. A 
different identification has been suggested by Mr. Drake, 
who thinks Maarath may be Mons Mardes of St. En- 
thymius, which is probably Khirbet Mird near Marsaba. 
This would place Maarath further to the eastward. 
Eltekon, the last-named of the group, has not been dis- 


covered ; but there still remain very near Jedur, to the 
east, four ruined cities whose Arabic names do not aid 
in their identification, one of which is doubtless Eltekon. 

The ruins of all these cities, especially Beth-Anoth and 
Beth-Zur, fortified by Rehoboam, are very important. 
At Beit-'Anun are four large cisterns and a square half- 
mile of ruins, of fine quarried stones ; one building, 83 
feet by 72 ; and the very streets may be traced. Near 
them was the great highway to Egypt ; and traces of 
the ancient paved road remain and marks of wheel-ruts, 
where no wheeled carriage has passed for centuries. 

Sela Ilammaldekoth (1 Sam. xxiii. 28), i. e. " Cliff of 
Divisions," was in the Wilderness of Maon. The great 
ijorcre which breaks down between Carmel and Maon 
eastwards, with vertical cliffs, is called Wady Malaki, and 
would be a suitable position, and the name is a probable 
corruption. (Conder.) 

There are some cities of Judah omitted by Joshua, 
which naturally come into this group. Tekoa, about 
seven miles north-east of Beth-Zur, is still called Tekua. 
It is the centre of a strictly pastoral region, and was 
probably never a walled town, though the ruins show 
many Hebrew traces. It is interesting as the birthplace 
of the wise woman sent for by Joab to reconcile David 
with Absalom ; and especially of the IVophet Amos, 
whose expressions often illustrate the wild character of 
his native place. It was fortified by Kehoboam, 

Between Tekoa and the road from Hebron to Beth- 
lehem a gently sloping valley still bears the name of 
Bereikut, the valley of Berachah, i.e. ''of blessing," 
where Jehoshaphat and his army halted to bless the 
Jiord, on their return attcr the mutual slaughter of the 
invading forces of Moal), Amnion, and Edom (2 Chron. 
XX.). This is ii, remarkable instance of a name bestowed 
late in Old Testament history, in memory of a special 
event, being preserved to the present day. 


Just opposite to Tekoa, on the north, stands the most 
remarkable fortress in Jndea, BetJi-lfaccerein, formerly 
a beacon-fort, mentioned by Jeremiah (vi. 1) : " Blow 
tlie trumpet in Tekoa, and set uj) a sign of fire in Beth- 
Haccerem." It was fortified by Herod, and called 
Herodium ; and hither that cruel monster's body was 
brought for burial after his death at Jericho. It has 
since been called Frank Mountain, and now Jebel 
Fureideis, and is a singular truncated cone, rising like 
an artificial mound above the neighbouring hills, and does 
not appear to have been occupied since the Koman times. 

Between Tekoa and Fureideis are the caves of Khurei- 
tun, the traditional Adullam. They are vast enough to 
afford concealment in their miles of labyrinth for any 
number of men ; but, from the circumstances of the 
narrative, I am inclined to place the true Cave of 
Adullam, as has been stated in the last chapter, near 
Deir Dubban, on the borders of the low country, in the 
west of Judea. 

Descending from Fureideis to the main road, between 
Hebron and Bethlehem, we pass up the valley of Urtas, 
the ancient Etam ; the name of which is preserved in 
that of a spring, Ain 'Atan, close by ; fortified by 
Rehoboam, but more interesting as the site of the 
Gardens of Solomon and probably the hereditary 
patrimony of David, described by Josephus. The valley 
is now a blooming garden, having been purchased and 
tilled by some Christian Israelites from Jerusalem • and 
many most interesting proofs of its former wealth have 
been exhumed, especially a beautiful set of marble 
baths, built after the Jewish fashion, with rich carvings 
in the Egyptian style, probably the site of the baths of 
Solomon's summer-house ; but restored by Herod the 
Great, the capitals of some of the marble columns 
having the lotus leaf ornamentation, and the style of 
sculpture which we see at Petra. 



The valley is fed with water from the pools of 
Solomon, one and a quarter miles above, at El Burak, 
on the road to Bethlehem. These are among the most 
wonderful architectural remains of the old monarchy, 
partly excavated and partly built in the narrow valley, 
one below the other. In length, they vary from 380 
to 580 feet ; in breadth, from 207 to 236 feet ; and are 
from 25 to 50 feet deep. They were the reservoirs 


which once formed part of the water-sup})ly of Jerusa- 
lem, as they still do of Bethlehem and of the valley 
below. The labours of the Palestine Exploration Fund 
have shown how, to feed these great cisterns, springs in 
vai'ious directions have been tapped at their sources and 
conveyed by secret channels to the upj)cr pool, the sealed 
fountain of Solomon's Song (iv. 12) ; while soHdly-built 
acjueducts at three different levels — the lower one com- 
pletely concealed fioin the detection of an invader, so 


that if the upper, or even the second, were taken, the 
third should secure a never-failing supply — conveyed 
the water by the hill-sides to Bethlehem and then to 
Jerusalem northwards, while another channel drew off 
a part for the supply of Hebron. Even to the present 
day the water flows in the lower aqueducts, and is 
brought into Jerusalem under the Great Mosque on the 
site of Solomon's Temple. It is, no doubt, of these 
pools and of Etam that the wise man writes : "I made 
me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them 
of all kinds of fruits ; I made me pools of water, to 
water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees " 
(Eccles. ii. 5, 6). 

Three miles north of Solomon's Pools stands the 
hallowed town of Bethlehem. Though not named by 
Joshua, it was a very ancient place, known by its earlier 
name of Ephrath, or Ej^hratah, when Jacob returned 
from Padan-aram. The old name lingered long, used 
both by Psalmist and Prophets. The hill-side, from its 
base, is irregularly scarped with terraces, and these are 
covered with the evergreen olive. In many a corner 
the luxuriant fig-tree hangs in strange shapes from the 
rocky bank, and vines are trained over the terrace walls 
in all directions. Along the edge of the vineyard the 
turf is carefully preserved and pastured by tethered 
goats. From the gardens and vineyards we pass 
abruptly into the town, now no longer fortified even 
with that pretence of a wall which surrounds most 
Eastern cities ; there are a few buildings outside, a rare 
exception to the usage of Palestine. The houses are 
flat-roofed, with very few windows looking into the 
street, generally only a lattice over the narrow door- 
way. But most of them have a little courtyard, into 
which the lower rooms open, while a balcony projects 
in front of the vipper storey, and a flight of stone steps 
leads up to the roof. 

Jff^ 'll'f 


The population is at present about 4000, tliougli a 
few years ago, before the Egyptian war, it passed 7000 ; 
and it is probable that with peace it will rapidly in- 
crease, owing to the growing trade of the district. 
There are no Jews in Bethlehem ; like Nazareth, its 
Christian associations repel them. In the cradle of his 
royal race the Jew is even more a stranger than on any^ 
other spot of his own land, and during the Middle Ages 
neither Crusader nor Saracen suffered him to settle 

The only public buildings of Bethlehem are those 
connected with the reputed birthplace of our Lord. 
The church or Basilica, to the east of the town, is a 
grand pile of masonry, erected by the Empress Helena, 
the mother of Constantine, a.d, 327, and dedicated to 
St. Mary. It is beyond doubt the most ancient existing 
Christian church in the world, and for 1530 years has 
been uninterruptedly devoted to Christian worship. It 
is an oblong, nearly square, with a nave 170 feet long 
and a double aisle on each side. The columns are 
of marble, said to have belonged to the Temple of 
Jerusalem. The east end is separated off by a wall and 
divided into chapels, from which there is a descent into 
a grotto, said to be the birthplace of our Saviour. It 
seems to have been a low cavern hewn in a rock, and 
not such as might have been connected with a dwelling- 
house as a stable, or have had access for cattle. But 
the whole ground has been so altered by building, that 
we cannot pronounce it impossible. 

At 'Attir, Yutta, and other places, we find several 
rooms hewn out of the side of the hill, and a large open 
cavern adjoining, evidently intended for cattle. The 
inn, or caravanserai, may have stood here, perhaps the 
very one founded by Chimham, son of Barzillai (Jer. 
xli, 17). In the stable adjoining, Joseph and Mary 
were compelled to take refuge. The subsequent con- 


98 131 DLE PLACES • 

vulsions of the country swept away all traces of tlie 
caravanserai, but the tradition of the spot survived— 
for we know it to be much older than the time of 
Constantine — and attached itself to the principal local 
feature, the cave or grotto below the inn. 

In the days of Jerome this grotto was believed to be 
the Holy Place of the Nativity, and was adopted by that 
holy Father as his home for more than eighty years. 
Here in seclusion he laboured and wrote, and here he 
worked at that noble legacy to the Christian Church, the 
Latin version of the Holy Scriptures, which forms the 
basis of the Yulgate. 

On a green slope rising from a narrow plain, about a 
mile east of the Church of the Nativity, stands a group 
of ruins surrounded by olive-trees, pointed out as the 
spot of the angel's appearance to the shepherds. From 
the richness of the soil and the fact of its being even now 
chiefly devoted to corn, it is far more probable that the 
corn-fields of Boaz, where Kuth gleaned, may have been 
here, than that so fertile a spot should have been given 
up to pasturage. But following on a few miles further 
to the eastward, we soon reach the bare hills where the 
wilderness begins, over a large part of which the Betli- 
lehemites still exercise common rights of pasturage. 
Here the sheep would be too far oft' to be led into the 
town at night ; and here the jackal and the wolf still 
prowl, as the lion and the bear had done in the days of 
the Shepherd King ; and the watchful presence of the 
shepherds is required to guard their flocks by night and 
day during the winter and spring, when alone herbage is 
found there. 

That ]>ethlehem never rose to be a. j)lace of any im- 
portance, although it lay on the higli-road between Syria 
and Egypt, is probably due to the absence of water on 
its site. Solomon ])artially supplied this want, us wo 
liave seen, l>y the aqueduct from his l^)(ds ; but before 



that, the only dependence of the inliabitants was on a 
large cistern outside the village on the north-east, still 
used and still known as David's Well, evidently of most 
ancient construction. When David exclaimed, " that 
one would give me to drink of the water of the well 
of Bethlehem, that is at the gate ! " he was hiding in 
the Cave of AduUam. The Philistines had garrisoned 


Bethlehem, but their camp was to the north of it • and 
David's men, coming from the south, broke throucrh the 
garrison and drew water from the well, without enterino- 
the Philistines' camp. 

Not far north of the well is shown a simple square 
tomb, the burial-place of Eachel, who was " buried in 
the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem " (Gen. xxxv. 
19). Thus the story of Bethlehem carries us back to 


the earliest clays, when the Patriarchs traversed this 
road between Shechem and Beersheba. 

Close to Rachel's tomb must have been Zelzah (1 Sam. 
X. 2), of which name no trace has been found. In the 
same neighbourhood, north of Bethlehem, was the 
district of Netophah, a group of villages. It has been 
identified with Beit Nettif , some miles to the west, but 
is more probably represented by the ruin Umm Toba. 

There is one touching domestic incident interwoven 
with the memories of Bethlehem which is brought vividly 
before us, as we look on those sloping fields to the east 
— the story of Buth the Moabitess. As we stand on the 
convent roof over the Church of the Nativity, we can 
clearly descry, beyond the line of haze which marks the 
Dead Sea, the hills of Moab. There must long have been 
some friendly intercourse between Moab and Bethlehem. 
Elimelech at once withdraws to Moab in the time of 
famine and continues there ; there is no difticulty about 
intermarriage ; and when David wishes to secure his 
parents from the fury of Saul, he sends them to the 
house of the King of Moab. 

To this day the fields of Bethlehem illustrate many an 
incident in the Book of Ruth. The veiy salutation, 
'' The Lord be with you ! " and the reply, " The Lord 
bless thee ! " may be heard as the farmer goes up to his 
labourers. The supper of the reapers, when the day's 
work is done, is still the parched corn eaten on the spot 
— a few bunches of fresh ears, singed in a fire kindled 
for the purpose and then rubbed and roughly winnowed 
by the hand. The large cotton or linen cloth, "the 
veil," which binds down the head-dress of the Bethle- 
hemite woman, is very distinct from the female dress else- 
where, and is still, like Ruth's, large enough to hold six 
measures of barley ; and still the owner sleeps by his 
(forn-heaps at niglit, generally with all his family, till 
the harvcht is finished. 


Tlic road to Jerusalem thence crosses tlie plain or 
valley of Rephaim, now known as El Bukei'a, the scene 
of some of David's most remarkable adventures, among 
them the victory over the Philistines at Jiaal Perazim., a 
name of which no trace has been found. 

About equidistant from Jerusalem and Bethlehem to 
the west — in fact forming the angle of an equilateral 
triangle with them — is a large almost isolated Tell, now 
called Bittir, the ancient Bether, where the revolted Jews 
under Barchobas made their last desperate stand against 
Hadrian, a.d. 135. The place is a natural fortress, and 
tradition still preserves the memory of that bloody 
struggle in the name Khirbet el Yahud, " the castle of 
the Jews," by which the ruins are known. 

We are now close to the northern frontier of Judah 
and the border of Benjamin. But to these four groups of 
hill-cities, from south to north, Joshua adds a fifth, com- 
prising only two cities, Kirjath-Baal and Rabhah, lying 
west of Jerusalem, on the northern frontier adjoining 
Benjamin and Dan, where Judah projected in an angle 
to the north-west. Rabbah, Conder suggests, may be 
the ruin of some size named Rubba, in the hills, four 
miles east of Beit-Jibrin, the Rebbo of Jerome in early 
Christian times. It is probably the RuhiUe of the 
Amarna tablets, which Adonizedek writes had been 
taken by the Hebrews. 

Kirjath-Baal is the same as Kirjath-jearmi (Josh. xv. 
60), and is also several times called simply Baale or 
Baalah (2 Sam. vi. 2), doubtless from a high place of 
Baal which once existed there. It is named by Thothmes 
III. among his conquests. It is generally identified with 
Kuriet el Enab, i. e. " the city of grapes," its old name 
signifying "the city of forests"; and it is- worthy of 
note, that the only piece of true primeval forest I ever 
found in Southern Palestine was on the ridge of hills 
between Enab and Wady Ghurab, 


KiLviet el Enah is still a thriving village with a fine 
old Christian church, desecrated ; and lies on the high 
road between Jaffa and Jerusalem. Lt.-Col. Conder, 
however, argues with much ability at great length in 
favour of the identity of Kirjath-jearim with Kh. 'Erma, 
a lofty site with extensive and very ancient ruins, five 
miles south-west of Kuriet el Enab, and four miles east 
of Beth-shemesh, overlooking the vale Sorek, or AVady 
Surar. The arguments briefly are that the Hebrew 
'Arim and the Arabic ^Erma are equivalents, that the 
site meets all the conditions of the historical problem, 
and especially that it makes the boundaries of Judah and 
Benjamin simple and intelligible. The conclusion seems 
to be incontrovertible. As a frontier city Kirjath- 
jearim is mentioned both in connection with Mahaneh- 
Dan and with Benjamin. The high place of Baal was 
probably on the heights just south of the road. Its chief 
Biblical interest is in the fact of its having been for 
twenty years the resting-place of the Ark of the Lord (1 
Sam. vi., vii. ; 2 Sam. vi.), whither it was fetched from 
Beth-shemesh and deposited in the house of Abinadab, 
whose son Eleazar w^as consecrated as its keeper, until 
David brought it up to Jerusalem. There is, doubtless, 
an allusion to the name '• Jearim," i. e. " woods," in the 
expression of the Psalmist in his song on the bringing 
back of the Ark — •' We found it in the fields of the 
wood " (Ps. cxxxii. 6). Kirjath-jearim only appears in 
subsequent history as the birthplace of the Prophet 
Urijah. It should not be forgotten that Kirjath-jearim 
was a city of the Gibeonites, who were thus for a time 
honoured by the presence of the Ark of the Lord. 

From Kirjath-jearim the border of Judah passed west- 
ward by Mount Selr, and then by Afonnt Jearim, which 
is Chesaluu — this last preserves its name of Kcsla. 
Jearim is the ridge on which Kirbet 'Erma stands, on 
the l)rink of tlic great valley, two miles west of it, and 



Seir preserves its name in Saghir, the ridge on wliicli 
Kesla stands. 

A little off the road hence to Jerusalem to the north 
is the small viUage called Amwas, which is mostprobal)ly 
the Kinmaus of St. Luke's Gospel, as has been pointed 
out by M. Ganneau. Lt.-Col. Conder holds that this 
Amwas represents the Emmaus Nicopolis of contem- 
porary writers, and that the Emmaus of the Gospel is to 
be found at Khamasa, with some very remarkable ruins, 
not far from the Koman road which passes by Solomon's 
Pools, south of Jerusalem. 




Tlie Wilderness, "Midbar "—The Salt Sea or Dead Sea— Description— Its rivers- 
Jordan— Callirhoe—Arnon— /(>//<■/ r>**'H //I— Mountain of Salt— Southern fi'Aor 
-So/J^^/i— Cities of the Plain— Sodom and Gomorrah— Lot's selection— View 
from Mamre— from Pisgah— Invasion of Chedorlaomer— His route— Vale of 
Hiddim— Zoar— Beth-arabah— City of Salt— En-^edi — Hazezon-Tamar— ^//i 
ji(bj—\Yih\ goats— Vineyards— Cliff of Ziz— Masada— &/>6^/<— Its siege and 
end— Beth-hogla—Gilgal— Valley of Achor—Adiiramim-Keziz— Jericho— £"/• 
iJiArt- Rahab— Elisha's Fountain— Elijah— Aqueducts— J i-i Dilk—Quamn- 
tania Mok n to/>i— Monasteries— Fords of Jordan— Beth-Nimrah-Bethabara 
—Passage of Joshua— of Elijah— of our Lord— Zamaraiiu— Phasaclis. 

To complete our survey of the territory of Judah, there 
only remain the six cities named by Joshua as in the 
" Wilderness," Midbar, i. e. the wide open space or 
country of the nomads, as distinguished from the culti- 
vated and settled lands. From the fact of Engedi, the 
City of Scdt, and Beth-arahah being included, it must 
have embraced not only the waste lands of the upper 
level, but also the cliffs overhanging the Sea and the 
strip of shore at their feet, on the edge of the Lake 
itself. The whole west shore pertained to Judah ; and 
it will be convenient, therefore, to examine the basis of 
the iJoad Sea at the same time. 

Very soon after leaving Hebron and Bethlehem, and 
almost immediately after leaving Jerusalem, we enter 
upon the ''Midbar" or Wilderness of Judoa, which forms 
Wh", whole eastern frontier of Judah. It has never 
Ix'cn cultivated, (excepting in a few spots, and seems to 
]iav(^ been always destitute of trees. With the exception 
of au old foit, here and there, there are scarcely an} 


traces of former permanent habitations. Its wadys, 
witli, for the most part, only scanty and occasional 
supplies of water, run eastward to the Dead Sea, cutting 
through the soft limestone to amazing depths near its 
shores. Tiie general slope of the ground is towards the 
east, till, close to the Sea, it breaks off into precipitous 
heights, with very few passes, beetling 1000 feet and 
more above the shore. 

But here and there, at the mouths of the ravines, are 
little embayed spots of surpassing fertility and a tropical 
climate, where towns have formerly stood. As the 
surface of the Lake is depressed no less than 1300 feet 
below the level of the Mediterranean and Red Seas, the 
temperature is exceptionally warm, and the products, 
animal and vegetable, are truly tropical, and, for the 
most part, entirely different from the indigenous forms 
of life in the rest of the country. This "c^ccm•," or 
Plain of Jordan, has, therefore, from the very earliest 
times of history, been inhabited and cultivated by man. 
It is mentioned in the geographical list of Shishak. 

There is no evidence, but the contrary, that there has 
been any change in the general form and appearance of 
the Lake since the creation of man. It is about forty- 
six miles long and ten wide, and has no outlet whatever, 
being, in fact, the deepest depression known on the 
surface of the earth. It receives at its northern end 
the constant flow of the River Jordan, on its eastern 
side the Callirhoe and the Arno7i, now the Zerka Main 
and the Mo jib, besides some smaller streams. At its 
south end, the Fikreh, Jeib, Kuseib, Ghurundel, and 
other streams draining the Arabah, empty themselves 
into it ; and on the west, the little stream of Engedi 
and several others add to its waters. Yet this 
enormous inflow is fully counterbalanced by the 
continual evaporation from its surface. There are also 
many springs on its shores and within its shallower 



waters, some hot, some salt, some sulphurous, and 
others fresh, which contribute to its bulk. 

The most famous characteristic of the Lake is its 
extreme and nauseous saltness and bitterness, concern- 
ing the effects of which many fabulous tales have been 
told. That no living thing can long exist in these 
mineral waters is an ascertained fact. But, apart from 
the water itself, there is nothing unhealthy or poisonous 
in the Lake or its surroundings ; and wherever there 
are fresh streams or springs close to it, they absolutely 


teem with life. FVom the perennial tropical summer 
which exists in this deep chasm, a variety of animal 
and vegetable life has been preserved, especially about 
the southern end, which is truly tropical in its character, 
and very different from any other within many hundred 
miles. The water is so saturated with salt that it is 
impossible to sink in it, and, in fact, at the south end 
it is really a s«aturated solution of salt. There are 
various other mineral salts in solution which add to its 
nauseous qualities. The principal cause of its saltness 
is to be found in Jebel Usdum, an isolated mountain, 
of rock salt. 



From the name of tliin mountain, Jebel Usdum, it 
has been popularly supposed that Sodom was situated 
at the south end of the Lake. It must be admitted 
that the southern end is very shallow — little more than 
a lagoon ; and there is a wide plain, a dead level, 
extending some eight or ten miles south of the Lake, 
called by the Arabs "El Ghor," which is conjectured 
to have been the site of the Cities of the Plain. But 

' /■ 


this plain is covered by a layer of sand, gypsum, and 
salt, and yields no evidence of having ever been 
cultivated in historical times. 

The most singular feature connected with the Dead, 
or, as it is always called in Scripture, the Salt Sea, is 
this Jebel Usdum, a great mass of rock-salt, three 
hundred and fifty feet high, about seven miles long 
from north to south, and from a mile to a mile and a 
half wide, covered at the top with a loose crust of 
gravel, flint, gypsum, and chalky marl, almost level 


but full of fissures and cracks, so that it is impossible 
to explore what looks like an innumerable collection of 
blunt pinnacles crowded together. Portions of the salt 
clii¥ are continually splitting off and falling, leaving 
perpendicular faces ; and there are some long narrow 
caverns, like the labyrinths of a deserted mine. By the 
side of, and under the salt mountain, various streams are 
continually percolating towards the Lake and carrying 
with them the thick solution of brine they absorb in 
their course. The consequence of this is a continual 
increase in the solid matter contained in the waters of 
the Lake, which are more intensely saturated with the 
various salts at the shallow south end than at the north, 
where the inflow of the Jordan and the immense depth 
of the fissures of the Lake, in places over two hundred 
fathoms, combine to modify the saturation. 

But though no life, animal or vegetable, can possibly 
continue in the Lake, there is — wherever, as on the 
whole south-east shore and in various spots on the w^est 
side, fresh water flows into the Lake — a positive 
exuberance of life to the water's edge. This is especi- 
ally the case in the " Safieh," the southern plains of 
Moah at the south-east, and at Engedi on the opposite 
shore. From the earliest times to the present these 
spots have been carefully cultivated. Engedi was con- 
temporary with the Cities of the Plain. When we see the 
surprising fertility and delicious climate of these buried 
nooks, we can well understand the attractiveness of these 
cities and their lands to Lot. 

Of the site of the four cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, 
Aditiah, and Zeboim, destroyed by fire and brimstone 
from tin) Lord, it is scarcely necessary to say tliat no 
trace remains, though an enthusiastic and somewhat 
imaginative traveller believed that ho had detected 
them. jScripture docs not state that they wore engulfed 
in tlio ScM, but th;it they W(;re destroyed, and "the 

*l'ilK WlLDKllNKSS ANI) 'I'lli; VAI-LKV lOO 

whole 1:111(1 Mici'cot' is hiimsloiic, ;ui(l Sitll/, niid hiiriiiii^,, it is iiol, sown, nor hciirclli, nor ;iny grsiSH growctli 
ilunciin " (l)(!nt. xxix. 2iJ). A doscription wliicli would 
ocjujiHy iipply to iiu^ dosol;ito [)lM,iri nt ilio sontli (^nd ii.nd 
to tho biiri-cii, snlj)liur spi'cjul inwl IxiUvjuni Joi'i(dio jind 
Mu) north end. It h;is Ix^^n (jU(!Stion(Ml ;it which end 
tli(iS(!, jilinost tli(^ old(!st citios in I-Ik; rocords of hiiin;in 
liistoiy, stood. Tradition phiccjs tli(!in M,t tho soutli. 

'J^Iioro is, howovor, ^ood reason for supposing th(3iri to 
liavc l)0(ni j»,t tlio noi'th (Mid, Wh(;n tlu^y aro iirst irion- 
tioiicd ((-icn. X. ID), tiicy :ti'o s{)ok(;n ol' as cities ol' th(i 
(Janaanit(!S on tlicir hordcij-, Tliey arc next iiiunod in 
Gon. xiii., in tl»o !uuM)nnt of tho sc^paration oF AI)r:iJi:uri 
and Lot. Al)r; and Lot stood to^'ctlior l)t'tw(!C'n 
JJothol Jind Umi, whcMi '' Lot lilted uj) liis eyes, nnd Ix^hcild 
all the |)l;iin ol" rj()i-(l:i,n, th;(t it vv;i,s w(dl w;i,t(M'(ul (ivery- 
wli(M'(!, Ixit'oi'C/ tho liOfd (l('stroy(Ml Sodom M,nd ( /lonioiriiJi, 
even as the ^anhin ot" tlie Lord, like tlx; lajid of i^i^^y|)t, as 
thou (!orri(\st unto Zoar " {(km. xiii. 10). J^'roni the hills 
wliore tli(!y stood, it is irn])ossi})le to <(ain a glimpse of the 
south ond of tin; Dead Hvm, wliihi the plain of Jericho in 
sjiread almost at the behohler's feet. 

Aga,iii, after the destru(;tion of tlie citi(5S we ai(5 told 
that Abraham, then encam[)ed at JMamrc;, "look(!d toward 
Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the 
plain, and })eli(;ld, a,nd, lo, the smoke of the country went 
up a,s the smok(; of a, furnace" ((U^n. xix. 2H). Tlie 
accuracy of tlu; (!X])r'('Ssiou is to b(! not(id. Not he Hdw, 
}>ul/ /((", looked toimird the (Jities of th(; l*la,in. From the 
liill al)Ove Manirc; tin; ])la,in itself cajinot be seen, but tho 
depression between the n(!are)' hills and the distant toj)S 
of Gihiad is plaiidy to be perceived, which is not the (rase 
with the d(!{)ression of the soutlion end of the \)iy.\i\ Sea. 
Thus Abraham (;ouhl at once have identified the locality 
wPienc(5 the smoke aros(!. 

Once more, in the view wJiich was granted to Mo.sey 



from the top of Pisgali, he beheld " the south and the 
plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm-trees, 
unto Zoar," Now from the summit of Nebo it is utterly 
impossible to behold the south-east of the Dead Sea, the 
situation of the modern Dra'a, which is said, by a tradi- 
tion not earlier than the times of Josephus and Jerome, 
to be ^oar ; but if we place Zoar — as it naturally would 
be placed, according to the narrative of Lot's escape — 
somewhere north of Engedi, on the west side — or, as I 


conceive, more reasonably in the same parallel on the 
east side of the Dead Sea — we see the limit of Moses* 
view, in accordance with the Sacred Record. From the 
top of Nebo, the view of the plain of the Jordan runs 
on uninterruptedly till it is cut off by the headland 
of Ras Feshkhah, the Arabic equivalent of Fisgah, and 
exactly in front of it, Ziara, projecting in front of Nebo. 
The Cities of the Plain are connected with the history 
of an event which is on many accounts of nnu'h interest 
— the first orgiUiizod ox]>(MHtion for conquest recorded in 


history. Chedorlaomer, Prince of Elam, having extended 
his conquests over Babylonia and the adjoining region, 
nearly two thousand years before the Christian era, or- 
ganized, with his subject princes, an expedition against 
Canaan, and having marched an army nearly twelve 
hundred miles, from the Persian Gulf to the shores of 
the Dead Sea, held Palestine and Syria in subjection for 
twelve years. He was the prototype of the great Oriental 
conquerors, who have suddenly built up vast empires in 
Asia, which have as suddenly crumbled. On the rebellion 
of the Cities of the Plain, in the fourteenth year, we are 
told (Gen. xiv.) that the Assyrians smote the Horites in 
Mount Seir unto El Paran (see ch. i.), and returned and 
smote the country of the Amalekites and also the Amorites 
tl\at dwelt in Hazezon-Tamar or En-gedi. After this the 
Kingf of Sodom and his confederates met the invaders in 
the Vale of Siddim, i. e. the Vale of the Cliffs, and on 
their defeat, Abraham pursued the victors on their march 
home by Damascus, and overtook them in Laish, or Dan, 
under Mount Hermon. Had Sodom and the other cities 
been situated at the south end of the Sea, it was certainly 
not after smiting the Amalekites and the Amorites at 
En-gedi that they would have met the invader, but long 
before he reached Hazezon-Tamar. But if Sodom and the 
confederate cities were in the plain of Jordan, there is a 
topographical sequence in the whole story : while Abraham 
and his allies hurriedly pursue the plunderers up the 
Ghor, or Jordan Valley, without delay, till they overtake 
them at the source of the Jordan. 

The Vale of Siddwi is only mentioned in this place 
(Gen. xiv.), and it is added, ^' which is the Salt Sea." 
But as the word vale, emek, signifies a broad valley en- 
closed by hills, and as, from the narrative, it must have 
been north of En-gedi, it seems most probable that it 
expresses the whole lower valley of the Jordan from the 
point of expansion about twenty miles above the north 


end of the Dead Sea, which is bordered by the remarkable 
white marl hills and cliffs, often one hundred feet high, 
and which are continued down the side of the Lake. 

Admah has been supposed by some to be traceable in 
Damieh, the city Adam (Josh. iii. 16), at the place w^here 
the ^'■ciccar'^ or the plain of Jordan suddenly contracts at 
the north. 

Zehoini seems to be connected with the valley of Zeboim 
(" Hysenas "), now Wady Sh-ed-Dubb'a, opening on the 
Jordan Valley or Ghor; and a possible neighbourhood 
for a city of the plain. 

There is some difficulty in fixing the site of Zoar, the 
fifth of the confederate cities, and the only one which 
escaped destruction. Its oldest name was Bela (Gen. 
xiv. 2). It is only mentioned afterwards in the prophecies 
of Isaiah and Jeremiah (Isa. xv. 5 ; Jer. xlviii. 34), in 
connection with places in the north of Moab ; and more 
especially in the account of the view granted to Moses 
from the top of Pisgah : " The plain of the valley of 
Jericho, the city of palm-trees, unto Zoar," referred to 
above. In accordance with this, the Targum of Jerusa- 
lem identifies it with Jericho, from which it could not 
be far distant. But we find from later w^ritei-s that there 
was a Zoar to the south-east of the Dead Sea — the 
modern Dra'a. Though the names are somewhat similar, 
this place could not have been the refuge of Lot, as, 
wherever Sodom be placed, it was far too distant to be 
reached during the short period of Eastern sunrise. I 
believe the exact site is to be found on the other side the 
Dead Sea, just below iVebo, in a line l)etween it and Ras 
Feshkhah, and on a knoll very sliglitly rising above the 
l)l}iin of Shittim, the modern Seisaban. The reasons for 
the identification are more freely given in eh. xv. 

We scarcely know more of some of the later cities in 
tl»e Wilderness of Judah, nained by ♦Joslma. Jieth-arahah 
(House of the Desert) must lia\e been in the sunken 


valley and on the border of Benjamin, as it is afterwards 
given among the cities of that tribe (ch. xviii. 22), and 
therefore was on tlie northern boundary of Judah, south 
of- Jericho. JietJi-Jtoyla (Ain Hajla) is a frontier city of 
Benjamin, the site of which is well known. 

Middin, coming in tlie list next to Beth-arabah, must 
be on the northern limit of the Desert. It seems to be 
Kirbet Mird, a site of some size on the high plateau, 
east of Marsaba. 

Secacah is possibly, as conjectured by Conder, Kh-es 
Sikkeh, in the wilderness, two miles south of Bethany. 

Of the next city, Nihshan, no trace has been found in 
modern nomenclature, though there are many sites along 
the western shore, as Terabeh, Feshkhah, (the Arabic 
equivalent of Pisgah,) and others, which afford proofs 
of ancient occupation. Being probably mud villages, all 
traces have long since disappeared. The City of Scdt 
where there are so many salt springs with vegetation 
round them, gives us no further clue : though not far 
from Masada, south of En-gedi, one of the ravines, with 
a stream and green borders, bears the name of Wady 
Malah, i. e. salt valley. Tell el Milh, " the Mound of 
Salt," a ruin with abundant wells, on the way from 
the south end of the Dead Sea to Beersheba, and 
usually identified with Moladah of Simeon, has also been 

The last city, En-gedi, now Ain ^idj, " the spring of 
the kid," is well known. It is the most lovely spot on the 
western border of the Salt Sea. Its more ancient name 
was Ilazezon-Tamar, i.e. "the pruning of the palm" 
(2 Chron. xx. 2), and it was an existing city when 
Hebron first arose. Associated by its name and by 
Scriptural allusions with the palm-tree, the camphire, 
and the vine, not a trace of these remains above ground. 
The '' cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi " 
(Cant. i. 14) is withered and gone, all save a few strag- 


r-N-GEDi, ri{0:\i rm" sorrit. 


gjing plants, on tlie verge of extinction. Their place is 
occupied by the dark gnarled acacias, with their um- 
brella-like flattened tops, by tamarisk-trees and a few 
jujube thorn-bushes. These dot a semicircular recess, 
about a mile and a half in extent every way, scooped 
out of the mountains which bury that deep Salt Lake. 

Through this little embayed plain three fresh sweet 
streams work their way to the Sea. The centre one is 
the true Ain Jidy {En-gedi). Several hundred feet up 
the slope its little silver thread may be seen, bounding 
and skipping, kid-like, from rock to rock, in tiny 
cataracts, till it reaches the little plain. Below these 
falls, in the centre of the plain, is a group of ruins 
of some extent, built of large squared, but now much 
weathered stones, so confused as to afford no clue to the 
old ground-plan of the buildings. These crumbled walls 
carry us with a mighty stride across the history of man. 
They are all that remain to tell of a city as old as the 
oldest in Syria, perhaps in the world. 

En-gedi rarely occurs in subsequent history. David 
with his men resorted to its cliffs — then, as now, the 
strongholds of the " wild goats " or Syrian ibex. It was 
the trysting-place of the hosts of Moab and Ammon, when 
they came up against Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xx. 2), and 
is to this day the route always taken by invaders from 
the south-east, who march along the shore round the 
south end of the Dead Sea and up the west side as far 
as En-gedi, when they ascend the pass. North of it the 
shore is quite impracticable. 

The vineyards of En-gedi have withered, but the 
terraces — with the tanks, cisterns, and beautifully- wrought 
channels for conveying the water to the roots of the 
vines — still remain uninjured on all the lower slopes of 
the surrounding hills, though not a vestige of soil now 
covers the rocks. Its balsam, camphire, and palms re- 
mained till the fourth century a.d. ; and there are abun- 



dant evidences of the palms in the masses of petrified 
palm-trees, with their fronds and fruit, in the limestone 
gorges opening on the plain. The name does not occur 
in after history ; and the only inhabitants are a few 

^ r_==r,^_ _ 





1 -rv'-^lr^^^" 


Arabs, who occasionally encamp and plant cucumbers 
and melons on the gravelly soil. 

Just above En-godi seems to have been the C///f* of 
Ziz (2 Chron. xx. 16), by which the road to Tekoa 
pissed. The ta))le-land immodiately above tlie pass is 
still called El-IIusasah, i. c Ilaz-::iz. 



AVe can scarcely leave the western shores of the Dead 
Sea without mentioning one place, Ma,sada, now Sebbeh, 
which, though it does not occur in Holy Writ, bears an 
important part in the closing scenes . of Jewish history. 
Half-way between En-gedi and the south end of the 
Lake stands a bold isolated rock — a very inland 
Gibraltar ^ — crowned by certainly the most remarkable 
ruin in Palestine. The fortress was built by Jonathan 
Maccabteus in the second century B.C., and was strength- 


ened and beautified by Herod the Great, as a last 
impregnable place of refuge. On the fall of Jerusalem, 
when taken by Titus, Eliezer and a band of desperadoes 
seized Masada, which was abundantly stored with 
provisions and arms. Flavins Silva, with a strong 
Roman force, besieged it for months in vain. At 
length a stupendous causeway, which still exists, was 
erected against its western side, and the walls battered 


into a breach. This the Jews repaired by the erection 
of a framework, which the Romans at length succeeded 
in igniting. AYhen entering on the following morning, 
prepared for a final attack, they found Herod's palace 
blazing in ruin, and apparently not a human being left 
alive, till an old woman emerged from a vault and told 
the tale of horror : how two w^omen and five children 
were the sole survivors of nine hundred and sixty-seven 
persons, who, rather than submit, had first slain their 
own wives and children, and then drawn lots to decide 
who should be the executioners of their brethren : until 
the last who remained, after despatching his brother execu- 
tioners, set fire to their gathered treasures, and having 
examined the prostrate multitude to see that not one 
breathed, fell on his own sword — the last, as he thought, 
of the garrison of Masada. The two women and their 
children had concealed themselves, and escaped alone to 
tell the tale. From that day the name of Masada 
disappeared from history, till it was re-discovered 
standing out over the waste a few years ago. With 
Masada closed the chapter of Jewish national history. 

North of En-gedi again are several green oases under 
the cliffs, where springs or the mouths of wadys nourish 
vegetation, and where some of the lost cities of Judah 
must have stood. At Ain Feshkhah, the most northerly 
of these, the Ghor, or Plain of Jordmi, begins. The 
plain is arid and sterile, strewn with sulphur, salt, and 
gypsum, yet there are frequent traces of old buildings. 
We are liere on the frontier of Judah and Benjamin. 
The boundary is thus described (Josh. xv. 5 — 7) : *' The 
east border (of Judah) was the Salt Sea, even to the end 
of Jordan. And their border in the north quarter was 
from the l)ay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan" 
{i.e. at the mouth of the river) ; "and tlie border went 
up to Beth-hogla, and passed along by the north of 
Beth-arabah : and the border went \\\) to the stone of 


Bolian the son of Reuben ; and the border went up 
toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so north- 
ward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up 
to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river ; 
and the border passed toward the waters of En-shemesh, 
and the goings out thereof were at En-rogel." 

Let us take each name separately, and we shall be 
able to trace the land with almost minute accuracy. 
From the Jordan's mouth the line ran to Beth-hogla. 

Beth-hogla still continues as Ain Hajla, five miles south- 
east of Jericho, and not very far from the ruins of a large 
convent. The well, considered by the Arabs the best in 
the country, is in a slight depression in the midst of a 
sandy, scrubby plain, unmarked by tree or ruin. It has 
been neatly built, and its overflow — for it is a perennial 
spring — forms a little oasis of herbage round it, with a 
green strip towards the Jordan till its moisture is ex- 
hausted. The stones have probably been all removed 
for the building of the monastery. 

Beth-hogla is probably the En-eglaim of Ezek. xlvii. 
10. The names are not very different in Hebrew. In 
the vision of Ezekiel, En-gedi and En-eglaim seem to 
denote extreme points such as this would be. We have 
also the authority of an old Jewish writer for the 

Gilgal stood near this, about two miles north-west, 
"in the east border of Jericho." Its position can be 
laid down accurately, though but faint ruins mark its 
site. Its interest centres in its having been the first 
camping-ground of the hosts of Israel after crossing 
the Jordan. Here were set up the twelve stones 
taken from the bed of the river as a witness. Here 
the younger Israelites were circumcised, and here the 
first Passover was kept in the land. Joshua seems 
to have made it a permanent camp ; and Saul here 
marshalled his forces against the Philistines (1 Sam. 


xiii. 4, 7). Afterwards it became one of the lioly 
places, where Samuel offered sacrifice and executed 
judgment. Hither the men of Judah came to meet 
King David on his return from his flight after Absalom's 
defeat. It is never mentioned afterwards, excepting 
in Hosea and Amos as having been a seat of the 
idolatrous worship of Israel. The site, a mile and a 
half from Er Riha, the modern Jericho, and three miles 
east of old Jericho, is marked by a number of artificial 
mounds called Tellayla't Jiljulieh, traces perhaps of the 
permanent camp of Israel. Latin writers speak of the 
spot as being venerated, though deserted, in the Christian 

Kext to Beth-hogla is Beth-arahali. The name has 
not been recovered, but the place is indicated by some 
ancient ruins on Tell el Moghyfer, near the opening of 
the ravine Khawr el Kataf. The next landmark, the 
Stone of Bohan, has not been identified, M. Ganneau's 
conjecture, though ingenious, being scarcely satisfactory 
in identifying it with Hajr el Asbah. Of Dehir, the 
next place, we have a trace in the Pass of Dabr, near 
the khan on the Jerusalem and Jericho road. Next, 
the line follows the Valley o/ Achor, which can only be 
the Wady Kelt, so well known to travellers from Jeru- 
salem to Jericho, and the only valley near J ericho besides 
one named above. It was in the opening of this valley, 
near the city of Jericho, that Achan was stoned (Josh, 
vii. 24). 

Next, we have '' the going up to Adummiin, which is 
on the south side of the river." By " the river," AVady 
Kelt only can be meant. It is the most conspicuous 
feature here, and has three sets of springs. " The going 
tip " is probably the ascent to Tol'at el Dumm, e. g. 
" Mount of Jilood," a media'val fortress, surrounded ])y 
a rock-hewn moat, standing above the well-known khan, 
and commanding the Jericho road, on the south of the 


Kelt. The name, "Mount of Blood," applies not only 
to the castle, but to the eminence of bright red- coloured 
rock on which it stands. It was known to the Crusaders 
as " Tour Rouge." " Went forth toward Geliloth '' (Josh, 
xviii. 17) is evidently a corruption of (Jihjal (see ch. 
XV. 7). 

En-shemesh, '^ the fountain of the sun," the next 
landmark, is probably Ain Hand, on the same road to 
Jerusalem, which will be mentioned hereafter. 

Thus the whole boundary ran along that pass above 
the Kelt, which has been from the earliest times the road 
from the Valley of the Jordan to Jerusalem ; on which 
the scene of the parable of the Good Samaritan is laid ; 
and which our Lord so often traversed. At the Toot of 
the pass was probably the Valley of Keziz, one of the 
towns of Benjamin, of which no further mention occurs. 
Jericho itself is the next town, always the most impor- 
tant in the Plain of Jordan. At the time of the conquest 
it was a walled city of importance and of great wealth, 
as we learn from the account of its spoils, where brass 
and iron are especially mentioned. The name has been 
preserved in the modern Arabic, in the village of Er 
Riha, which, however different in our English pro- 
nunciation, is actually the equivalent of the Hebrew 

The history of Jericho extends from the entrance into 
the Land of Promise by Joshua, through the New Testa- 
ment epoch to the time of the Crusade^. It was in the 
allotment of Benjamin, but so close to the frontier, that 
"the city of palm-trees" is more than once spoken of as 
if it pertained to Judah, in the same way that Jeru- 
salem is frequently referred to. The palm-trees, which 
require human care to continue their succession, have 
all but disappeared. One old tree, with a clump of 
seedlings round it, was all w^e found, and that on the 
outskirts of the oasis of Jericho near Gil^al. 


Jericho is first mentioned when the spies from the 
camp at Shittim were entertained by Rahab. She and 
her family were saved and lodged without the camp ; 
but there is no hint that her house escaped the general 
destruction, though the monks of the Middle Ages pro- 
fessed to show it. Rahab afterwards married Salmon, 
the father of Boaz, and of course had settled at Bethle- 
hem. It has been a question whether Jericho continued 
to exist in village-shape after its destruction by Joshua 
and the curse on its restorer, fvilfilled in the domestic 
desolation of Hiel (1 Kings xvi. 34). As it was assigned 
to Benjamin, we can scarcely suppose that its fields 
remained uncultivated ; and the curse was upon the 
restorer of the city, as a walled town, not upon its 
cultivator. Two springs of marvellous exuberance are 
the source of the wealth of Jericho, and they must have 
had the same fertilizing power of old as now. It is true 
that one of them, Ain Sultan, seems to be beyond 
question identical with the fountain whose bitter waters 
were healed by Elisha, by whose name it is familiarly 
known among Europeans ; but in its former brackish 
state — a character which it shared with many existing 
springs of the neighbourhood — its waters, though 
disagreeable and unfit for drinking, were not inimical 
to vegetation, especially to the characteristic palm, 
which rejoices in saline ground. The land was, there- 
fore, in all probability continuously cultivated, though 
the husbsindmon anny have lived at Gilgal and the many 
other villages in the neighbourhood. 

Once restored, it rapidly became of importance. It 
Wiis on the route across Jordan, both from Judea and 
from JJenjamin, and from it the road diverged to the 
lower fords towards Moab Jind the upper ones towards 
(jlilead. Here was established one of the schools of the 
prophets, frequently resortcnl to by Elijah and Elisha. 
it was the last place visited by them before the 



translation of Elijah just across Jordan, and hither his 
successor returned and healed the spring of the waters 
(2 Kings ii.). 

Down to the Plain of Jordan, Zedekiah fled after the 
capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings xxv. 
5), and here he was taken by the Chaldseans. The place 
was restored after the Captivity, and the men of Jericho 
bore their part in the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh. 
iii. 2). 

In later times it became one of the five chief cities of 


the Jews. Here Pompey encamped, Herod the Great, 
wlio Iiad a passion for public buiklings, bestowed much 
labour on Jericho, with whose rose-plants Wisdom her- 
self did not disdain comparison (Ecclus. xxiv. 14), and 
especially extended its orchards and lifrove of balsam. 
Anthony assigned its revenues to ( Jleopatra, from whom 
Herod farmed them ; and here he retired to die. In 
the amphitheatn; of Jericho, of which no trace remains, 
Salome announced th(> tyrant's death. 

Archelaus restored Jericho a fourth time, but built it 


further in the plain. It was this latter Jericho, of which 
many traces remain, wliich our Lord visited ; where 
Zaccha^us was called and the blind were healed ; where 
the parable of the king and his rebellious servants was 
spoken, in allusion, doubtless, to the history of Arche- 
laus. The modern Jericho was destroyed by Yespasian, 
but again rebuilt, and it became an important Christian 
centre and episcopal see, visited by Jerome and by 
Origen. There are still the remains of several large 
monasteries in the neighbourhood, and the faces of the 
bold precipitous mountains, which rise just behind its 
site to the height of 1503 feet, are absolutely honey- 
combed by the cells of ancient anchorites and hermits 
from top to bottom. 

In the time of the Crusaders the revenues of the Plain 
of Jericho were of immense value, and assigned to the 
Templars of Jerusalem, when they were reputed worth 
£5000 per annum. These were largely derived from the 
culture of sweet cane — the mills for pressing which still 
remain and retain their names, though the sugar-cane, 
like the palm, has been long extinct. 

The old town, which w^as the Canaanite city as well as 
that of Hiel, was close to the Fountain of Elisha, now 
Ain Sultan, around which are many indistinguishable 
heaps, a few later ruins and some curious mounds, 
evidently artificial, from the fragments of pottery 
mingled with the stones and earth. An examination 
made lately by Mr. Bliss, of one of these great mounds, 
into which a section had been cut, and in which I had 
the good fortune to be assisting him, revealed the fact 
that they are composed entirely of sun-dried bricks, in 
which the clay had been mixed with straw. By paring 
the face of the section, the fresh cutting showed at once 
the stratification of the bricks, which were not more 
than three or four inches thick, and had somewhat the 
appearance of stones perforated by sea-worms, from the 



vacua left by the straws, which had perished ages agone. 
Many portions of the wall were in situ, others thrown 
down. In the lower part of the old Canaanite city we 
found many fragments of undoubted Amorite pottery, in 
the middle part Phoenician, and nearer the top Greek 
and Roman ware. A Roman road in good preservation 
runs north-east from the old city, and near it, three 
miles further on, some workmen, who were digging for 


stone for ]»uil(ling purposes, had just uucovored tlie pave- 
ments and several feet of walling of several Roman 
villas, the frescoes on the i)laster of which were per- 
fectly fiesh. 1'he capitals and portions of entablature 
which we saw seemed to bo of the time of Hadrian, 
and prove the im])ortance and extent of the Roman 

'Pile fountain of Klisha is of remarkable volume, (juite 
warm, and waters many acres of ground. ,) ust above this 


are the ruins of the sugar-mills and also of aqueducts, 
doubtless those made by Archelaus, which once inter- 
cepted the waters of the Kelt at higher levels, and 
brought them down, so as to irrigate the whole of the 
upper plain. Many very fine arches still remain, span- 
ning the deep ravines several miles above Jericho, which 
have been quite overlooked by travellers. 

About two miles above is a fountain of equal magnifi- 
cence, of sweet water, known of old as now by the name 
of Ain Duk. Round it may be traced the ruins of 
another old city. The site of Herod's Jericho was to the 
south, more directly on the road from the fords to 
Jerusalem, and just where the road from the hills 
suddenly debouches on the plain. The road which our 
Lord frequently traversed can be distinctly traced, as 
well as the aqueducts leading down to this part of the 
plain ; but the ruins are only shapeless masses. The 
modern village of Er Riha is about half-a-mile further 
south, a wretched collection of hovels with a large square 
redoubt or castle, now used as a Turkish garrison, built 
by the Saracens or Crusaders, though popularly called 
the house of Zacchseus. This was doubtless the site of 
the Jericho of the Crusaders. The inhabitants are the 
most degraded and vicious of the population of Palestine, 
and seem of a race quite distinct from the Arabs or 

On the top of Mount Quarantania, called the Mount 
of Temptation, from a tradition that our Lord spent His 
forty days of fasting in the wilderness at this spot, 
immediately behind Jericho, are the ruins of an ancient 
chapel, perhaps near the spot where the sons of the 
prophets stood to view when Elijah and Elisha set out 
for the Jordan. The cells, with which the face of the 
mountain is honeycombed, contain many frescoes and 
interesting inscriptions, dating back to the earlier 
Christian ages, of the fourth or fifth centuries. They 


seem to have been little disturbed since, as the Greeks 
neglect them, though a few Coptic and Abyssinian 
pilgrims visit those of them which are still accessible, on 
their annual pilgrimages. 

The zone of vegetation does not now extend for more 
than three miles from Er Riha, the remainder of the path 
to the Jordan being across a barren phiin ; but though 
now salt-covered and barren, there is evidence that it 
had once been fertile, by the irrigation of the plenteous 
streams above ; nothing but neglect has reduced it to 
this desolation. In the midst of it, at least three exten- 
sive convents still stand in ruins, one of them once 
inhabited by St. Jerome ; and, though roofless for 
centuries, such is the dryness of the climate, many of 
the frescoes remain distinctly traceable. One of these 
monasteries, known as Kasr el Yehud, almost on the 
Jordan bank, due east of Er Riha, has, in 1881, been 
restored as a monastery by the Greek Patriarch of 
Jerusalem, and has suffered, as such remains usually 
do, in the process. There are i;he remains of an aqueduct 
which once- conveyed water six miles right across the 
plain, from the holy fountain of Elisha to the Convent, 
but the present inhabitants are dependent on the Jordan. 

Two roads from the upper country converge at Jericho 
— one from Jerusalem, before mentioned, which comes 
out by the side of the Wady Kelt ; the other to the 
north of Quarantania, leading up to Bethel, and especially 
interesting as that taken by Joshua and the Israelites 
after the fall of Jericho. Two routes also diverge hence 
to the upper and lower fords respectively. The lower 
one, leading to Moab, is at what is known as the pilgrims' 
l)athing-place. It is but little used, and is certainly not 
near the place of the passage of the Israelites. The 
otlicr is about six miles higher up, and was tlie principal 
ford in ancient times opposite lktli-Niini'((h,ov Iktliahira, 
now Beit-nimriii. The road passes across the barren 


})l;iiii for al)o\it six or seven miles after leaving the oasis, 
while the Plains of Shittiin may be seen on the other 
side, si)arsely dotted with acacias. The immediate banks 
of the river present a striking contrast to the sterile 
level on either side. There is a terrace lower than the 
plain, fringing the Jordan, at a width varying from a 
hundred yards to a quarter of a mile, with an impene- 
trable tangle of forest shutting in the river, the lim])s 
of trees hanging over, and the branches dij^ping into 
the water. A narrow glade opens the passage to the 

As the Plain of Shittim, in its widest part, is imme- 
diately opposite this ford, the passage of the hosts under 
Joshua probably took place here, although since the 
drying up of the w-aters was by a distinct supernatural 
intervention, and the river bed was left dry, it is not 
necessary to limit the passage to any special ford, and 
probably the many thousands occupied a wide reach of 
the river on their march. 

By this ford, too, did Elijah most probably pass, when 
he had vainly attempted to prevent his faithful Elisha 
from accompanying him, as, for the last time, he hastened 
towards the mountains of his native Gilead, thence to be 
carried up to his eternal home. Up to that bold peak 
of Quarantania behind, the sons of the prophets had 
climbed, and there they " stood to view" and watch as 
master and scholar walked across the plain, till they 
descended to the wooded bank. There was no delay, as 
the stricken waters made a path for them dryshod ', and 
thence they would naturally follow the road to the 
mountains. Not long had they walked, still absorbed in 
converse, when the chariot and horses of fire appeared, 
and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Not 
long — for when Elisha returned, the sons of the prophets 
had not yet relinquished their post of observation. Still 



had they gazed on, waiting till their fathers should 
return, when soon they recognized Elisha, coming back 
in all the power and spirit of Elijah. It could not, 
therefore, have been far from this ford that heaven and 
earth were brought so near together. 

There is a peculiar appropriateness in this identifica- 
tion, since he who was to come '' in the spirit and power 
of Elias" appeared, completed his mission, and discharged 
his function of herald of the Kingdom, by the baptism 
of Christ at Bethabara, just opposite, near the very spot 
where his j^i'ototype had disappeared. By this ford, too, 
our Lord and His disciples passed over Jordan, when 
they came by the plain on the east side and ascended 
from Jericho to Jerusalem. 

It is interesting to note that the local name of 
one of the fords here is el Mandeseh, i. e. '' the place 

One other city of Benjamin is named, which appears 
to have been in the lower Plain of Jordan, Zemaraim, 
between Beth-arabah and Bethel, and, therefore, on the 
edge of the hill country. It may be recognized in 
Humrah, a collection of crumbling heaps, close to the rise 
of the hills, about five miles north of Jericho. Though 
little remains above ground, there are many extensive 
(juarries beneath, whence sandstone has been hewn with 
great order and system for many more buildings than 
Sumrah ever contained, and which i)ossibly supplied 
material for Jericho and the neighbouring monasteries. 
Zemaraim does not occur in later liistory. 

The only other remaining ruins in this region, till we 
reach the territory of Ephraim, are those of P/iasaelis, 
now Fusail, about ten miles further north, at the mouth 
of a beautiful glen. It was built l)y If erod, who utilized 
the mountain stream, as he did at »Jericho, and tluis 
fertilized a previously desert tract. The axpioduct is 


broken down, the waters are wasted, and the rich Aulon 
is now again the barren Ghor. Its interest arises chiefly 
from its being the traditional site of the retreat of 
Elijah during the dearth. This seems scarcely possible, 
as the brook (or wady) Cherith was probably east of 
Jordan, where, however, the name has not yet been re- 




Boundaries of Euiijaiiiin — Cliaracter of the country — Crowded jicaked hills — 
Ascent from Jericho to Ai — Wa<hi Ilariih — Bethel— Luz — Its history — 
Migron — Oak of Deborah— Beth-aveu — Camping-ground of Abraham — Ai or 
Hai — View from the Hill of Ai — liock llimmon— Ophrah, Ephron or Ephraim 
• — Land of !Shual — Ophni or Goidiiia — Michmash — McLldiia-^ — Achievement 
of Jonathan — Geba — Jib — Sennacherib's IMarch towards Jerusalem — Mana- 
hatli — Parah — Aleraeth — Eeeroth — Chephirah — Beth-horon — Western passes 
of Beth-horon— Battle and Victory of Joshua — Beit 'Anan — Gibeon — Pool of 
Gibeon — Joab — Solomon's Vision— Ramah—Mizpeh — Xcbi/Samiril — Mount- 
joiji — Ebenezer — Gibeah — Samuel and Saul — Anathoth— Nob — 8n iixth — 
Zclah — Mozah — Rekem — Neithtoah — LIfta—Sprlug — Valley of Hinnom — En- 
Kogel — En-Sliemesh — Bahurim — Gallim — Madmenah — Gebim — Bethphage — 
Bethany — IMount of Olives — Place of the Ascension. 

Of none of the tribal boundaries have we more ac- 
curate or minute descriptions than are given by Joshua 
(ch. xviii. 11 — 20) of the portion of Benjamin. His 
inheritance ran down in a narrow strip, as we have 
seen, to the north end of the Salt Sea. Then it 
mounted tlie steep ascent, its southern boundary em- 
bracing Jerusalem, and its northern running north of 
Bethel, and then gradually narrowing to a point on the 
western edge of the hill country, where it sinks into the 
Plain of Sharon. Thus the great passes into the central 
heart of Palestine -Michmasli on the cast and P)eth-horon 
on tlie west- lay within the limits of this smallest but 
most warlike of the tril)cs. 

Tlie metropolis, too, lay just within its border, Boiuid 
Jerusalem were thickly studded the walled towns, which 
crowned every height of little Henjamin. It was, in 
fact, the Middlesex of Palestine. No plain like that of 

Tlll'l Tirrj. COUNTRY OF r,KNJAMTX loJ 

Sharon, no '^midhar" liko tlie Wilderness of Judah, 
extended its frontiers ; tlio little portion of the Plain 
of Jordan round Jericho was its only possession beyond 
the highlands. 

This region, like the hill country of Judah, of which 
it is a continuation, has no rivers or wide valleys, but 
steep ravines, running eastward to the Jordan, and less 
precipitous ones draining towards the Mediterranean, 
and often overlapping each other, as they start from the 
crowded hill on the crest of the watershed. Instead, 
however, of the ranges of brows running east and west 
in Judea, we find here a number of isolated knolls 
rising out of this table-land, suggesting, by their very 
appearance, either the sites of fortresses or " high places " 
for worship. With both of these the little territory was 
crowded. Mizpeh, "the watch-tower"; Ramah, ''the 
high place " ; Geba, Gibeah, Gibeon, all signifying 
"hill," tell us at once of this characteristic feature of 
this territory of mountain fastnesses. 

We have already examined the sites of the five cities 
of Benjamin in the Plain of Jordan. We pass from 
Jericho by the same ascent by which Joshua led the 
armies of Israel against Ai. Great strategic skill is 
shown in the selection of this route to Bethel. The 
ordinary road is by a rugged ravine, winding up just 
on the south of the Mount Quarantania, and then after 
a steep ascent turning northward, wdiich ravine after- 
wards formed the frontier of the kingdoms of Judah and 
Israel. When wooded, as in the days of the Israelite 
kingdom, it was the secure home of bears, which main- 
tained themselves exactly as they do now in similar 
ravines of Lebanon (2 Kings iii. 23). Leaving this pass 
on his left and skirting the eastern base of Quarantania, 
and the great fountain Bocus, now Ain Duk (1 Mace, 
xvi. 15), Joshua led his army up the Wady Liieit, where 
a Roman road can still be traced by Rummamin 


{Rimmon). Rimmon is given among his conquests by 
Thothmes III., and also named in the Amarna tablets 
as having fallen before the Iberi. A number of rolling 
hillocks, piled one behind the other in irregular order, 
with shallow wadys forming a network of paths, but 
all converging, as though a great net had been pressed 
down diagonally on the slope, reach to the upper 
plateau. Up these the army could march in loose order, 
secure from surprise, and safe from any attack in the 
rear, until the narrow open plain in front of Ai was 
attained. " Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which 
is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel " (Josh. 
vii. 2). After the failure of the first attempt, an 
ambush was placed in the pass, high up, between Ai 
and Bethel ; and, as is fully described by Joshua, Ai 
was captured and destroyed. 

Just above the head of the ravine stood Bethel, named 
in the first, or eastern group, of twelve Benjamite cities 
by Joshua (xviii. 22). Of these the first four were in 
the plain, the others in the highlands. The other group 
of fourteen cities comprised the southern and western 
portion of the tribe. Bethel (the house of God), or Luz, 
as it was anciently called (Gen. xxviii. 19), now Beitin— 
though the latter (Luz) seems to have been rather the 
city, and Bethel the holy place close by — is among the 
oldest cities of Canaan. Here Jacob was favoured with 
the vision which told him of the nearness of earth to 
heaven, and set up his pillar, which, according to Jewish 
tradition, was long preserved and found a place in the 
second Temple. 

In the time of the Judges, Bethel frecpiently comes 
into notice as a place favoured by the Sacred Presence. 
Jfither Israel went up to ask counsel of God (Judg. xx. 
18, etc.), when Phinehas, i\w son of Kh'azar, had set up 
the Ark of the Covenant. Samuel visited it regularly 
in circuit (1 Sam. vii. IG). After the rending of the 


kiiif]f(lom, thougli in the portion of Benjamin, it, like 
Jericlio, was held by Israel, though wrested from Jero- 
boam by Abijah (2 Chron. xiii. 19) till retaken by Baaslia 
(2 Chron. xvi. 2). Jeroboam here set up the rival wor- 
ship of the golden calf, after the Egyptian fashion. It 
is unnecessary to recapitulate the visit of the Prophet of 
Judali and the temporary visitation of Jeroboam. It 
maintained its importance till the downfall of the king- 
dom of Israel ; but appears always to have contained some 
worshippers of the true God, as Elijah and Elisha visited 
it ; and, after Assyria had carried Israel captive, there 
were still some priests here who taught the true worship 
of Jehovah (2 Kings xvii. 28). The destruction of idolatry 
by Josiah fulfilled the prophecy of the days of Jeroboam, 
The pillar of the man of God yet remained ; and after the 
return from captivity, men of Bethel and Ai returned 
with Zerubbabel. Bethel afterwards sank and disappears 
from history. It now consists of a few wretched hovels 
amid several acres of foundations and hewn stones, 
among which stand the ruins of a Greek church, built 
out of the fragments of some more classic edifice, with 
sculptured capitals and cornices protruding from the walls. 
An enormous cistern, 300 feet by 200, is the chief relic 
of antiquity. 

A very little way east of Bethel, the name of Makrun,i 
given to a desolate heap on the top of a bold rocky 
mound, identifies Miyron, i.e. "the precipice," a village 
only twice mentioned : once, when under a pomegranate 
tree there Saul mustered his handful of men at the 
lowest ebb of the tide of Israel's reverses (1 Sam. xiv. 2) ; 
and again in the magnificent description of the march of 
Sennacherib against Jerusalem : '' He is come to Aiath, 
he is passed to Migron " (Isa. x. 28). 

^ This name, though given to me on the spot by the fellahin, 
does not appear to have been found by the officers of the Palestine 



Close to Bethel, in the valley to the south, was the 
''oak of tears," Allon-hachuth, where Deborah, Rebekah's 
nurse, was buried (Gen. xxxv. 8). 

Beth-aven,\.e. "the house of naught," "on the east 
side of Bethel" (Josh. vii. 2), seems to have been close 
to that city, so close that, in the language of the later 
prophets, when Bethel had become the head-quarters 
of idolatry, the name of " the house of God " (Bethel) 
was exchanged for that of " the house of naught, or of 
idols" (Hos. iv. 15, etc. ; Amos). Of tlie name no trace 
now remains. 

The second camping-ground of Abraham in the Land 
of Promise was at "a mountain on the east of Bethel, 
] laving Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east" (Gen. 
xii. 8). There is a gently sloping grassy valley, south- 
east of Bethel, where the patriarch's flocks may have 
grazed ; and we recognize the mountain in the little 
rugged hill opposite, with shapeless cairns on its top, Tell- 
el-Hajar, "the hill of the stones." 

At, destroyed by Joshua, called also Aiath (Isa. x. 28), 
of which Avirriy in the list of Joshua, is possibly a corrup- 
tion, appears to have been situated on the hill above the 
village of Deir Duwan, a couple of miles further to the 
east. When Bethel is known and .examined, it is almost 
impossible to mistake the site of Ai ; and also that of 
Abraham's second encampment. 

The modern name of the knoll on which Ai stood is a 
most remarkable incidental confirmation of sacred history. 
We read (Josh. viii. 28) that " Joshua burnt Ai, and 
made it an heap (7V//) for ever, even a desolation unto this 
day." Now the place has no other name than " et Tell," 
the heap, and it is to be noted that the word Toll only 
occurs tlu-oc or four times in the irobrow Bible, while it 
is one of the most universal and familiar words in the 
Aral)ic, every ruined place on a rising ground liaving this 
prefix, as Tell A vad, Tell Hum, Tell Kadi. But nowhere 


else do we find it standing alone. Et Tell — the, heap, the 
one made and cursed by the leader of Israel. 

Between et Tell and Bethel there is a fine irregular 
plain, affording room for the military evolutions described 
in Josh. viii. Between this and Bethel, in the ravine of 
the Wady Harith, Joshua placed his ambush. Hither 
Abraham had returned with Lot to the same '' place where 
his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and 
Hai, unto the place at the altar which he had made there 
at the first." This altar would naturally be on the hill, 
and not in the plain below. From its top Lot lifted up 
his eyes and beheld all the Plain of Jordan. This is the 
most westerly spot whence the plain can be seen. To the 
east there rises in the foreground the jagged range of 
hills above Jericho, in the distance the dark wall of Moab, 
and between these lies the wide valley of the Jordan, its 
eastern side clearly visible. The view also south and west 
is 'wide and commanding, as far as the hills round Hebron. 
Here it was that "the Lord said unto Abram, Lift up 
now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, 
northward and southward and eastward and westward ; 
for all the land which thou seest, to thee will 1 give it, 
and to thy seed for ever " (Gen. xiii. 14, L5). 

Two miles north of this spot, on the very edge of the 
hill country, with a precipitous descent towards the 
Jordan Valley, is the Rock Eimmon, where the little 
village still bears the name of Rummon, the houses cling- 
ing to the sides of the cliff like steps, rising several 
hundred feet above the deep ravine. Here, in the inac- 
cessible fastness, the remnant of the Benjamites, after 
the slaughter of the tribe, took refuge for four months, 
till released by the tribes, who agreed to spare them 
(Judg. XX. 45, xxi. 13). Of Gidom, the place to which 
they had been pursued, no trace has been found. 

Two miles north of this and five miles east of Bethel, 
was the frontier city of Ophrah, or Ephron^ on the edge of 


the wilderness, or uncultivated hill country. It scarcely 
occurs again in history, excepting as the Ephrain that 
was wrested by Abijah from Jeroboam (2 Chron. xiii. 19), 
but is especially interesting, as probably identified with 
the "city called Ephraim" (John xi. 54), to which our 
Lord retired for a time from Bethany, after the raising 
of Lazarus, almost immediately before His Passion, It 
is now called Taiyebeh, and contains the ruins of a fine 
Byzantine church. The population is for the most part 
Christian. It is on a bold knoll projecting over Jordan 
Valley, and is peculiarly isolated and secluded ; truly 
" the lonely Ephraim." 

The Land of Shual, i.e. of "Jackals" (1 Sam xiii. 17), 
one of the routes by which the Philistine marauding 
parties went forth from Michmash, points to the high- 
lands north and north-west of Ophrah, but the name has 
not been recovered. 

Three miles north of Bethel is the village of Ain Sinia, 
which M. Ganneau appears very satisfactorily to identify 
with Jeshmmh^ the third city recovered from Jeroboam 
by Abijah (2 Chron. xiii. 19). 

Turning westward w^e come to the most northerly city 
of Benjamin, 0]>Jmi, the name of which never occurs again 
in Scripture history, but whicli is the same with Gophim, 
frequently mentioned in Josephus, on the great Koman 
road northward from Jerusalem, which can still be traced 
in places. It was one of the principal phices of Boman 
Palestine, and here Titus halted for the last time on his 
march to l)esiego Jerusalem. It is now a little Christian 
village, with the same name as of old, Jufna, the ruins 
of a castle and of a church, surrounded with luxuriant 
vineyards and fruit orchards. Little more tlian a mile 
south of it is Zordd, now Siirdnh, ll»o l)irtliplace of 

Chephnr-Xdaminondi, i.e. "village of the Ammonites," 
preserving the recollection of some Ammonite iuroad, the 


next city named in tlie allotment, has not yet been traced. 
In the Kame district, too, must be placed Sheharim, i. e. 
'^ the fissures," which is only named in the capture of Ai 
(Josh. vii. 5), and probably took its name from the broken 
rents in the soil so common in this neighbourhood. 

Michmash, now Mukhmas, admits of no question. It 
stands " eastward from Betli-aven," on the north edge of 
the Wady Harith, here, in its upper part, called AYady 
Suweinit, " the passage of Michmash." The olden fortress 
is now a squalid village, the sides of the ravines are 
honeycombed with caves, in which Saul's army hid them- 
selves after they were driven out of the citadel, and up 
this ravine the king returned from Gilgal to Gibeah 
(1 Bam. xiii. 15). The ruins are, if possible, more deso- 
late but more massive than those of Ai or of Bethel ; 
and the city seems, by the fragments of columns, as well 
as by two large rock-hewn cisterns, to have continued to 
a later date. Michmash is not named in the catalogue of 
Joshua, but rose to importance afterwards. Its interest 
concentrates in the history of Saul, when it was the 
extreme eastern fortress taken and held by the Philistines 
(1 Sam. xiii., xiv.). Up the ravine, " between the pas- 
sages," Jonathan and his armour-bearer climbed on their 
daring and heroic adventure, between two sharp rocks, 
Bozez and Seneh (1 Sam. xiv. 4) — which must have been 
some of the now worn mounds and hummocks which 
strew the rough gorge — and, clambering up the steep, 
discomfited the garrison, seized with sudden panic, till 
the children of Israel came out of their hiding-places ; 
the king saw it from the top of Gibeah, and the rout 
was complete. " So the Lord saved Israel that day, and 
the battle passed over to Beth-aven," 

Once again, in the magnificent description by Isaiah 
(ch. x.) of the march of Sennacherib, Michmash is 
named. After passing Ai and Migron, " at Michmash 
he hath laid up his carriages " i. e. his heavy baggage. 


It was resettled after tlie Captivity (Neh. xi. 31), and 
Avas the seat of government of Jonathan Maccabfeus. It 
is mentioned by Ensebius and Jerome. 

Right opposite Michmash, on the. sonth side of the 
ravine, is the round-topped hill of Geha, now Jeba, with 
its terraced sides. Here we can trace the vivid accuracy 
of Isaiah's, poem on Sennacherib's advance. After 
leaving the incumbrance of the army at Michmash — for 
the wady is too rugged to admit of the carriage of heavy 
stores — "They are gone over the passage: they have 
taken up their lodging at Geba " (ch. x. 29), i. e. they 
have crossed the ravine, and bivouac at Geba, and now 
"Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled:" for the 
latter of these is in sight of Geba, Eamali is only half- 
an-hour westward. From the top of the hill we looked 
back to Gilgal, as the Philistines, from the keep, looked 
towards the camp of Saul. Perhaps the fort which 
Jonathan captured (1 Sam. xiii. 3) was on the site of the 
large square stones which form the base of the ruined 
tower. The military topography of this district, as 
shown in the history of the advance of Joshua, of the 
campaign of Saul, and the march of Sennacherib, is 
wonderfully accurate. Every allusion can be recognized 
at once on the spot: the whole history is re-enacted 
before the mind's eye. 

In the reign of Josiah we find Geba named as the 
frontier of the southern kingdom (2 Kings xxiii. 8), and 
the Wady Suweinit was admirably suited as a line of 
defence. On this account Asa fortified it with the 
materials of liamah (1 Kings xv. 22). It was resettled 
after the Captivity (N(^h. xi. 31). 

Manaliath, to which the men of Geba. removed, is 
probably represented l)y the modern village of Malhah, 
three miles S. VV. of Jerusalem, where there are Jewish 
tombs and other remains of pre-Jloman times. 

Piti'dli, tlie Inst to be noticed ot" tlie cities of tlic first 




cjroup, lias not btHMi identified, but tlie name remains in 
the Wady Fa'rali, the ravine immediately to the south 
of Geba, running into the Suweinit, the caves of which 
are inhabited by Arabs. I was told of ruins, but was 
not able to find them. 

On the south side of this wady there rises a l)leak, 
rugged hill, without a village or a house, but crowned with 
shapeless ruins, called Almut, Ahnon of Joshua, named 
among his conquests by Shishak, Aleinatli of 1 Chron. 
vi. 60, by which name it has come down to us, a city of 
the priests, of which nothing further is mentioned. 

The central and western cities of Benjamin are given 
in Joshua as fourteen in number, including Jerusalem ; 
but many other places in this district are mentioned in 
after history. About two miles south-west of Bethel 
stands Beeroth, probably Beer of Judges ix. '21, now 
Bireh, the most northerly of these, one of the four cities 
of the Gibeonites which entrapped Joshua into a league 
(Josh. ix. 17). The Benjamites seem to have subse- 
quently expelled its Hivite inhabitants (2 Sam. iv. 3), 
The murderers of Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, were of 
Beeroth. The Well of Blreh is the first halting-place 
for caravans from Jerusalem, and hence there is some 
reason for the tradition, received generally in the 
country, that this was the place where Joseph and 
Mary discovered that our Lord had stayed behind, and 
was not among their company. 

The place is still a flourishing village. There is a 
noble fountain by an old mosque outside, where pilgrims 
and travellers camp on a grassy sward, and also a large 
khan. In the centre of the village is a noble old Early 
Pointed church, built by the Knights Templars, and so 
perfect, that it can scarcely be called a ruin. It is attri- 
buted to the English knights who possessed this village. 
Somewhere near it was Gittaim, which has not been traced * 

CJiepliirah, another of the four Gibeonite towns, w^as 


further west, two miles west of Ajalon, on the frontiers 
of Benjamin, the modern village of Kefir. 

We are here close to the north-western frontier of 
Benjamin and Ephraim, Beth-horon (Josh. xvi. 3, xviii. 
13), one of the conquests of Shishak. Though tlie towns 
themselves were in Ephraim, yet these passes and their 
history belong to Benjamin. The pass of Beth-horon 
was the western access, as that of Jericho was the 
eastern, to the hill country and the fastnesses of Central 
Palestine. At the head of the pass stood the cities of 
Mizpeh and Gibeon. From the slaughter by Joshua, 
near Gibeon, the Canaanites fled "along the way that 
(joeth u}) to Beth-horon" (Josh. x. 10). From thence 
they crossed the ridge and descended towards the west. 
" And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, 
and were in the (jolny down of Beth-horon, that the 
Lord cast great stones from heaven upon them unto 
Azekah " (ver. 11). Standing on the summit of the pass, 
with Gibeon behind him, Joshua looked down the broad 
green vale of Ajalon, as it unfolded in the distance into 
the open Plain of Sharon and the wide expanse of the 
Mediterranean beyond. The sun " was in the midst of 
heaven," for it was noon-day, the moon was visible 
above the hailstorm which came driving up from the 
west, when Joshua S2)ake, " Sun, stand thou still upon 
Gibeon ; and tliou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon." 
*'And there was no day like that before it or after it, 
that tlic Lord hearkened unto tlie voice of a man : for 
the Lord fought for Israel" (vers. 12,14). Down the 
same pass, too, David drove the Philistines (2 Sam. v. 25). 
It was the scene of a victory of .Tudas ]\la('('a})a'us, and 
of the last success of the insurgent Jews over the 
Romans just before tlie siege of Jerusalem by Titus, 
irp the same pass the Crusading armies advanced under 
ivicliard Ccnur-dc Lion. 

Ilrlh Ininni, tin; I'jtjx:!' and l>i'thli(n'<)n the Si^lhvi' ha\i> 


survived all the vicissitudes of four thousand years, and 
the same names still remain in Beit'ur el-foka and 
Beit'ur et-tahta: the upper village perched on the crest 
and steep side of the hill, the lower (et-tahta) on a low 
hill, further down on the other side of the pass ; and the 
road from Gibeon and Michmash to the Philistine Plain 
still passes by them. 

Two miles and a quarter south of Upper Beth-horon 
the modern village of Beit 'Anan, on the old Poman 
road from Lydda to Jerusalem, represents the ancient 
Eloii-BetJi-IIanan, one of Solomon's commissariat 
centres. Neho, now Beit Nuba, is on another Poman 
road to the west of this, and four miles S.W. of 

Lower down, between Beth-horon and Lydda, but off 
the road to the south, is a place which does not occur in 
the Inspired Scriptures, but is most closely connected 
with the most glorious epoch of later Jewish history — ■ 
Modin, the birthplace and ancestral burying-place of 
the Maccabees. At Modin was struck the first blow in 
the war of independence, and near it were fought the 
greatest battles. It is to be recognized in the modern 
El Midyeh, an Arab village on a hill, sui-rounded by 
wadys, at the foot of the Juda'an range, in sight of the 
sea, of Pamleli and Lydda. On the other side of the 
valley are the Kabur el Yaliud, " Tombs of the Jews," 
the 1 )urial-place of the Maccabrean family. The toml)S 
are minutely described in 1 Mace, xiii., and by Josephus. 
The seven pyramids erected over them have been long 
since destroyed, but there are traces of their bases, and 
the great slabs over the rifled tombs beneatli them still 
remain. The whole structure is of a very dift'erent 
character from any othei'S in the country. 

Gibeon, now El Jib, enumerated among his conquests 
by Shishak, is about five miles to the east of Upper 
Beth-horon, on the other side of a low^ ridge, across 


which the ancient road can, here and there, be traced. 
A few scattered hovels stand on tlie top of a little 
isolated hill, whose sides are terraced for vineyards and 
covered with trees, with the remains of an old fortress, 
a tine fountain in a cave, and a large open reservoir 
below the village. This is the "Pool of Gibeon," at 
which Abner, with the adherents of Ish-bosheth, met 
Joab and David's men, and where, after the defeat of the 
former, Asahel fell by the spear of Abner (2 Sam. ii.) ; 
a tragedy which afterwards led to the treacherous 
murder of Abner by Joab. 

We are told (2 Sam. ii. 16) that the place where the 
mutual slaughter took place was called Uelhath ILaz- 
zarhih^ i.e. "the field of strong men." A reminiscence 
of this seems to be preserved in a broad, smooth valley 
close to the village (" which is in Gibeon "), called 
AVady el Askar, "the vale of the soldiery." At the 
spring of Gibeon — "great waters" (Jer. xli. 12) — 
Johanan found the traitor Ishmael. 

Gibeon first appears in history as the chief of the 
four confederate Hivite cities which lured Joshua un- 
wittingly into a league with them, and which league 
was the origin of the Amorite confederacy, so utterly 
discomfited, and which ended in the execution of Mak- 
kedah. Next it was the scene of the wager of battle 
mentioned al)ove. A second time it aj)pears in Joab's 
history, when, in searching for Sheba, the Benjamite 
rebel against David, Joab seized the opportunity of 
basely assassinating his rival Amasa, by the "great 
stone which is in ({ibeon," under circumstances more 
atrocious than even the murder of Abner (2 Saui. xx. 
4 — 13). By a righteous arrangement of Providence it 
was at Gibeon, whitlier Joab had fled to the horns of 
the altnr (1 (Jhron. xvi. .*}!)), that ho was put to death, 
on llic sentence of Solomon, by Henainh, the won of 


It is not quite clear whether David removed the Ark 
of the Lord to Gibeoii; but it is quite certain (1 Chron. 
xvi. 30) that in his time the brazen altar of sacrifice 
was here, and the priests, with Zadok at their head, 
attended to its service. Hither, soon after the execu- 
tion of Joab, the youthful King Solomon went up to 
offer his magnificent sacrifice of a tliousand burnt-olfer- 
ings (1 Kings iii. 4), attended in pomp by all his officers 
of state. Here the Lord appeared to him by night, and, 
on his choice of an understanding heart, promised him 
wealth, honour, and long life. Ho soon as the Temple 
was completed, Solomon again retui'ned to Gibeon, and 
brought up the tabernacle and all its sacred vessels to 
the newly-erected Temple of Jerusalem. This city of 
the priests, to whom, with its suburbs, it was allotted, 
thenceforth sinks into obscurity. The men of Gibeon 
assisted in the rebuilding under Nehemiah ; and the 
place is occasionally referred to by Josephus. 

"The hill of A'mmah, that lieth before Giah by the 
way of the wilderness of Gibeon," must refer to sites in 
the irregular plain, east and north-east of Gibeon, but 
no trace of either name has been found among the 
many ruins which dot it. On this plain, a mile north- 
east of Gibeon, the little village of Jedireh, with a few 
rock-hewn tombs, is the ancient GederaJi ; and Beit- 
Hannina, two miles south-west, represents Ananiah of 
Benjamin, close to which was Hazor, built by Solomon, 
now Khirbet Hazzfir, a heap of ruins. 

Eamah, now Er Ram, stands about five miles east of 
Gibeon, placed, like the other towns of Benjamin, on the 
summit of a round hill. Near it must have been 
NaiotJi. A little to the north of it, in the deep hot 
valley, " between Ramah and Bethel," was the palm- 
tree of Deborah, where Bebekah's nurse was buried. 
As a frontier fortress, after the scliism of Judah and 
Israel, it w^as constantly taken and retaken. Here, too, 



Nebiizar-adan, the Babylonian captain, halted with 
his prisoners, on the way to Babylon. But it is more 
directly connected with the life of Samuel, if it be the 
same, as we believe, with Ramathaiin Zophim of Mount 
Ephraim (1 Sam. i. 1), the birthplace of the Prophet. 
Mount Ephraim is often loosely applied to all the hill 
country under the power of that tribe, as the greater 
part of Benjamin frequently was. It is supposed to 
have been the place where Samuel anointed Saul to be 
king over Israel. The modern collection of hovels, 
called a village, has some fragments of columns and 
large bevelled stones used up in their construction, 
indicating its ancient importance. It was resettled 
after the Captivity. 

Two miles north of it, and one and a half miles south 
of Beeroth, close to the northern Boman road, was ^Secu 
or Secliu, now the little village Shuweikeh. 

Ataroth-adary mentioned (Josh, xviii. 13) as ''near 
the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Beth- 
horon," is recognized in the modern Atara or Darieh, 
two miles and a half north of Bamah. Baal-Tamar is 
marked by another Attara, an uninhabited ruin south 
of Beeroth, close to Shuweikeh or Secu. 

Turning again to the south-west, the highest hill in 
the neighbourhood is the well-known Neby Samwil, the 
ancient MizpeJi, the most conspicuous spot in the wdiole 
country round, commanding a view of Jerusalem. It 
rises abruptly from the table-land, with terraced and 
well-cultivated sides, to a height of 500 or 600 feet. 
No other peak in Southern Palestine affords such a 
panorama. Gibeon, Ataroth, Beeroth, Ophrah, Kimmon, 
Jiamali, ({iboali, are all distinctly seen; Ciilead, Moab, 
Bethlehem, the hills of Hebron, the Plain of Sharon, and 
the Mediterranean are visible in the far distance. It 
was, tlierefore, well named Mlzjteh, "the watch-tower." 
It is supposed to be the Mountjoye of the Crusaders, 



where men first caught sight of Jerusalem, and where 
our Kiclmrd I. refused to gaze on the city, but, hiding 
liis face, exclaimed, "0 Lord God! I pray tliat I may 
never see Thy Holy City, if so be that I may not rescue 
it from the hands of Thine enemies ! " The Crusaders 
believed Neby Samwil to be Hhiloh : not unnaturally, 
from the grandeur of its position. The Mohammedan 
tradition declares it to be the burial-place of Hamuel. 


Some modern travellers have raised difficulties in the 
identification of Mizpeh, or Mizpah, with Neby Samwil, 
but the preponderance of evidence seems overwhelmingly 
in its favour. 

Here, at Mizpeh, all the children of Israel, 400,000 
strong, assembled to take vengeance on the hideous 
crime of the men of Gibeah, in sight of the scene of 
wickedness itself. It was to Mizpeh, again, that the 
Prophet Samuel summoned all Israel to confess their 
sins and to fight against the Philistines 3 and after the 


victory, when the foe was driven as far as Beth-car, 
Samuel set up the memorial-stone, and called it Ehen- 
ezer, now a household word in Christendom (1 Sam. 
vii. 12). The stone was raised between Mizpeh and 
Shen, which latter, like Beth-car, is unknown. A second 
time did Samuel, many years later, call a national 
gathering at Mizj^eh, when Saul was taken for king 
(1 Sam. X. 17) ; and for the first time in Israel the cry 
was raised, " God save the king ! " 

At Mizpeh Samuel regularly judged Israel, as one of 
the three holy cities, with Bethel and Gilgal. It was 
afterwards fortified by Asa, who employed the material 
prepared by Baasha, at Eamah, for a counter-fortress 
against Judah. The men of Mizpeh returned after the 
Captivity, and aided in the building of Jerusalem. The 
height is crowned by a large dilapidated mosque, and 
round it are about a dozen houses, built of old sculp- 
tured fragments and partly hewn out of the sides of the 
rock, like the deserted towns of Southern Judah. 

About four miles east of Mizpeh, and a little more 
than that distance north of Jerusalem, stood Giheah (the 
(jliheath of Josh, xviii. 28), generally called Gibeah of 
Benjamin, or Gibeah of Saul, now Tuleil el Fiil. It was 
the scene of the tragedy of the Levite and his concubine, 
the vengeance for which brought almost extermination 
on the tribe (Judg. xx.) ; yet Gibeah afterwards gave 
Israel her first king. It was the city of Saul, and spoken 
of as his home. Here the king, with the manners of 
primitive simplicity, is found tending his herds, when 
summoned to defend his trans Jordanic subjects from 
Ammon (1 Sam. xi. 5). Again he returns to it after the 
campaign against Amalok (eh. xv. .*U), when he and 
Samuel parted for life, nigh to the two hill-tops close in 
siirht of each other — Bamah and Gibeah. In the wars 
of Saul witli the Philistines, Gibeah is often mentioned. 
It was at Gibeah that Jonathan, with his garrison of 


1000 men, held his ground, while the Philistines were at 
Geba opposite. From Gibeah he struck the blow at 
Geba, which rallied Israel, but roused the vengeance of 
their foes (1 Sam. xiii. 2). Again Israel rallied at 
Gibeah (ver. 16), though Michmash was lost; and it 
was the base of operations in the great battle which 
established for years the supremacy of Saul. Here the 
Gibeonites hanged the seven descendants of Saul, to 
avenge the massacre of their brethren (2 Sam. xxi.) ; 
and here Rizpah, the mother of two of the victims, 
watched the bodies day and night, till the touching tale 
of a mother's devotion reached David's ears, and they 
were buried with honour. Beyond an incidental refer- 
ence here and there, Gibeah only appears in later history 
in Isaiah's description of the march of Sennacherib. 

Gibeah, or Tuleil el Ful, 'Hhe hill of the beans," is a 
rounded conical hill, its top covered with ruins, which 
are little more than a confused heap of stones, dreary 
and desolate. Its sides are roughly terraced, bare, and 

All authorities agree in identifying Geha with the 
modern Jeba, but Lt.-Col. Conder, after very careful 
examination of the district, discredits the identification 
of Gibeah with Tuleil el Ful, and suggests a neighbouring 
Tell in view of Michmash, which is not visible from 
Tuleil el Ful. 

We are told that the men of Geba emigrated to 
Manahath. This is conjectured by Conder to be Malhah, 
three miles south-west of Jerusalem, the Manocho of the 

AnatltotJi, now Anata, a city of the priests, two miles 
east of Gibeah, on the other side of the Wady Selam, is 
not mentioned in the list of the cities of Benjamin, but 
occurs afterwards in the catalogue of the priests' cities. 
It is now a small village, looking eastward from the 
edge of the highlands down into the Jordan Valley, with 


an ancient reservoir, hewn out of tlie rock, and many 
hewn stones and fragments of columns strewing the 
ground. It is only an hour and a half's ride from 
Jerusalem. Anathoth was the city of Abiathar, tlie 
priest, who so faithfully followed David in his wander- 
ings, after his escape from the massacre of the priests 
at Nob; and "to his own fields at Anathoth" he was 
banished by Solomon, for his share in the unsuccessful 
attempt of Adonijah. But the great distinction of 
Anathoth is, that it was the birthplace of the Prophet 
Jeremiah. Here the Word of the Lord came to him, 
and here he lived, till driven by persecution to take 
refuge in Jerusalem, By Anathoth, Sennacherib is 
represented as advancing to Nob, in sight of Jerusalem • 
" O poor Anathoth " (Isa. x. 30). 

A little to the north of Anata is the village of Hizmeh, 
which seems to answer to the Azmaveth of Ezra ii. 24, 
Nell. vii. 28, mentioned along with Anathoth. 

Noh, another city of the priests, between Anathoth 
and Jerusalem, was the last station in the march of 
Sennacherib, when his progress was arrested. '' As 
yet shall he remain at Nob that day : he shall shake 
his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, 
the hill of Jerusalem " (Isa. x. 32). Nob is incidentally 
referred to by our Lord (Luke vi. 3), as the place where 
J^avid, fleeing from Saul, had r;ome of the shewbread 
given liim from the holy table by Ahimelech the priest, 
ilen; Iiis trophy, tlu; sword of (Joliath, had been hung 
up. Then followed the frightful massacre of the priests, 
women, and children, by Doeg the Kdomitc, under Saul's 
orders, when Abiathar alone escaped to tell the tale 
(1 Sam. xxii.). All traces of the name of Nob have 
since disappeaiod fi-oin history. Mr. Porter has, as I 
am convinced, aftei- carefully examining the locality, 
I'ightly placed Nob on a peaked hill, just east of Shafat, 
two miles noitli of Jerusalem, and in si^lit of Mount 


Zioii. Lt.-(Jol. Conder, however, would identify it with 
IMizpeh, his theory ])eiiig that Nob was a later substi- 
tuted name. The hill is called h:)umah, and in the hewn 
cisterns and large stones and ruins there is the evidence 
of an ancient place. Nob, not being a city, but only a 
village dependent upon Anathoth, is not given in the 
catalogue of priests' cities. 

The other enumerated cities of Benjamin seem to 
have lain to the west of Jerusalem. Kirjath-jear'mi, a 
frontier town with Judah, " Kuriyet-el-Enab," or more 
probably Kh. 'Erma (see p. 102), has already been named. 
Zelah, the native place of the family of Kish, the father 
of Saul, and where Saul and Jonathan and his other 
sons were buried, has not yet been traced. Of the 
towns next named, Irpeel has been identified by Lt.-Col. 
Conder, with the modern Rafat, near Gibeon. Taralah 
is unknown. 

Mozah does not reappear in history. The Mishna tells 
us it became a privileged colony in the Roman times and 
was called Colonia, the modern village of Kulonieh, in 
the Valley of the Terebinth, midway between Kirjath- 
jearim and Jerusalem. The old name lingers in Khirbet 
Beit Mizzeh, on the hill above Kulonieh. 

Kekem, taken by Shishak, is reasonably identified 
with the modern village of Ain Karim, about a mile 
and a half south of Mozah, where is a plenteous spring 
and vestiges of antiquity. 

xVin Lifta, two miles and a half from Jerusalem, off the 
road to Kirjath-jearim, was formerly identified with the 
^' fountain of the water of Xephtoah,^' but has been shown 
with some probability by Conder to be the ancient Eleph. 
The spring, whence its name, is still very abundant, and 
may have been utilized in very ancient times for the 
water-supply to the city. On the crest of the hill above 
the village of Lifta is a very curious chasm in the rock. 
At the top it is only wide enough to allow of a man 


squeezing through, but lower down it expands, till, at 
the depth of 125 feet, it is about 15 feet by 30 inches. 
It widens to the bottom, which is at the immense depth 
of 155 feet from the surface. Water trickles down its 
sides, and runs aw^ay at once, as if possibly it were 
tapped by some underground conduit, and so conveyed 
by a subterranean channel for the supply of Jerusalem. 
The chasm appears to be partly artificial. 

If Lt.-Col. Conder* s identification be correct, " the 
fountain of the water of Nephtoali " must be sought for 
at 'Ain 'Atan, south-west of Bethlehem. The Rabbi- 
nical commentators identify the waters of Nephtoah 
with En Etam ('Ain 'Atan), whence an aqueduct con- 
veyed the waters to the Temple. This aqueduct still 
exists, and supplies the Haram Area of Jerusalem 
(see p. 94, Solomon's Pools). The only difficulty is that 
this identification would bring the boundaries of Ben- 
jamin rather further southward than has generally been 

From Lifta we can easily trace the boundary line 
to the Valley of lUmiom round the west and south of 
Jerusalem. On the southern brow of the valley Solomon 
erected high places for the idolatrous worship of Molech ; 
and here the later kings, who fell into idolatry, per- 
formed the cruel and horrible rites of this supersti- 
tion. It was afterwards polluted by Josiali ; and, from 
its ceremonial defilements and its former human sacri- 
fices, the name (Je-THnnoni, or Gehenna^ became applied 
to the place of eternal torment. Four hundred yards 
from the south-west angle of Mount Zion, the valley, 
hitherto wide and sloping, turns suddenly and steeply 
<lown to the V^alloy of Jehoshaphat, contracting to a 
narrow defile. A little below Fn-Kogel it joins the 
ravine of the Kedron, or Valley of Jehoshaphat, below 
Ophel, leyond the south-east corner of Mount Moriah. 

The next place given by Joshua, in tracing the frontier 



of ilio two tribes, is En-Royel. This has been generally 
placed at Bir-Kyub, or '' Job's Well, " a little way down 
the Kedron Valley, in the King's Gardens, and south of 
Siloam, though others claim for it the Fountain of the 
Virgin, at the foot of Ophel and north of Siloam. The 
(question has been set at rest by the discovery that the 
ledge of rock leading down to the Fountain of the Virgin, 
in which steep steps are cut, is still called by the resident 


Bedouin of Siloam Ez Zehwele, the exact equivalent of 
the stone Zoheletk. There can, therefore, be no question 
but that the Virgin's Fountain is En-Rogel, now 
known as 'Ain XJmm ed Deraj. En-Rogel is twice 
mentioned incidentally in history. Here Jonathan and 
Ahimaaz remained concealed for information wheii 
David fled from Absalom ; and here Adonijah held his 
feast by the stone of ZoheletJt, on his futile attempt to 
seize the crown from Solomon. 



The next boundary mark is En-Shemesh, " the fountain 
of the Sun." If we take the northern line, this would be 
Ain Haud, a well-known halting-place below Bethany, 
on the road down to Jericho, called by Christians the 
Apostles' Fountain. If we take the more southerly line 
by the Valley of the Kedron, it would probably be 
the Fount of St. Saba, by the well-known Convent of 
Marsaba, in the wilderness of Judea. This spring is one 

VAl.l.KV Ol' .IKIIOSItAI'llAl'. 

of the very few, and the only one of importance in the 
Wady Nar or Kedron, till it reaches the Dead Sea, at 
the north end of which the frontier line began. But 
the northern line has the weight of evidence in its 

Several other places in tlic tlu(;kly-people(l district of 
Benjamin are mentioned in Scripture, of which wo have 
no certain identiticiition. lUtlivr'nn must have been on 
the soulli border, between Kn-llogel nnd Kn-Shemesh. 
J)y it David passed down as lie was reviled by Shimei ; 

'J'llll II Mil. COUN'I'RV OK r.lCNJAMiN 


and here Jonathan and Ahimaaz were hid by a woman 
when their escape was detected by Absalom (2 Sam. xvi., 
xvii.). Here Phaltiel bid farewell to Michal when David 
demanded her back. 

The Targum of Jonathan for " Bahurim " reads " Ale- 
meth, " whence has been suggested its identity with 
Alnian, or Aleiiieth, the modern 'Almit, about a mile 
north-east of Anathoth or 'Anata. 


Galllui must have been near Bahurim, and neai- Jeru- 
salem on the east. It is mentioned in the LXX., Josh. 
XV. 59. Conder identifies it with the floui-i shine: villatre 
of Beit- Jala near Bethlehem. Here Phaltiel lived (1 Sam. 
XXV. 44) ; and it is mentioned by Isaiah as on the march 
of Sennacherib, close to Anathoth : " Lift up thy voice, O 
daughter of Clallim : cause it to be heard unto Laish, O 
poor Anathoth. Madmenah is removed ; the inhabitants 
of Gebim gather themselves to Hee. As yet shall he 
remain at Nob" (Isa. x. 30 — 32). As we know all the 



other places ai'e named in topographical oider, we may 
place Madmenah and Gehhn between Anathoth and Nob. 
To the site of the former we have no clue. Geh'iin is 
probably the village of El-Isawiyeh, the position of 
which, two miles north of Jerusalem, meets all the 
required conditions. 

Two places remain to be noticed in this immediate 
connection, neither of them once refeiied to in the Old 


Testament, but which have since, fiom the incidental 
connection of one of them with a single family, become 
household words in Christendom — Ihiliamj and BethpJiaije. 
Of Bethphage, " the house of figs," the traces have 
recinitly been discovered. It must have been very near 
Jiethany. I'he villag(^ icmained to the times of Euse- 
l)ius, fierome, and Origcn. The Crusaders possessed a 
village between JJetliany and the crest of Mount Olivet, 
which tlicy idcntiticd witli lU'tlipbagc. ''I'lic foundations 


of extensive buildings and tlie remainR of an ancient 
cliapel, probably of the eleventh century, were uncovered 
by ]\I. Ganneau and Sir Jl. II. Kitchener (now Sirdar of 
Egypt). There were many inscriptions, one at least with 
the name of Bethphage, and several really fine frescoes 
on the walls of the church, one representing our Lord's 
triumphal entry on the ass, another the resurrection of 
La/aras, all leaving no doubt as to its being the Crusad- 
ing Betliphage, where a church was built on the spot 
where our Lord was said to have mounted the ass. The 
traditional stone seat, from which He was said to have 
mounted, was found covered with painting exactly as 
described by a contemporary author, Theodoricus, a.d. 
1072. The only question is whether this is really the 
site of the Bethphage of the Gospels, or merely a locality 
fixed to meet the sacred story in an uncritical age, as 
was often the case with sacred sites in the Middle Ages. 
There is every reason, however, to accept the identification. 
The village was likely to remain, though its name has 
been lost, and the position meets all the requirements 
of the case. We may therefore fairly identify the 
village of our Lord's days with the modern Kefr et Tur. 
Bethany, on the contrary, has continued beyond ques- 
tion. On the eastern slope of Mount Olivet, screened 
from sight of Jerusalem by the crest of the hill, stands 
the little mountain hamlet, containing little more than 
twenty houses, scattered irregularly in a labyrinth of 
narrow lanes and ruinous walls : a shrivelled and decay- 
ing place. Apart from its associations, there is nothing 
to attract or interest in the view of Bethany, or, as it is 
now called, "Lazariyeh." The gardens that surround it 
scarcely deserve the name. There are a few clumps of 
fig-trees, and gnarled old olive-trees sparsely dot the 
rocky soil above to the crest of the Mount of Olives. 
But the crumbling and ruined lines of stones — the traces 
of the terraces by which every inch of the soil was once 


cultivated — as well as the shattered walls of the village 
itself, with large Jewish-dressed stones frequently in- 
serted in the modern structures, remind us of earlier and 
better days. Its name, too, Bethany, ''the house of 
dates," recalls the former abundance of the date-palm, 
where now it has utterly disappeared, but the feathery 
crest of which must once have waved along the sheltered 
road by the base of the hill, and supplied, by their long 
leaf-stems, a carpet for the triumphal entry of the Son 
of David into the Holy City. 

With His earthly sojourn that village is almost as 
closely bound up as is His own city in Galilee. What 
Capernaum was to Him there, Bethany was in Judea. 
Here dwelt His dearest friends — Lazarus and his 
sisters. Hither He was accustomed to retire after His 
daily labours in the Temple. Here, in the house of 
Simon the leper, Mary anointed His feet with precious 
ointment, and wiped them with her hair ; here He wept 
by the grave of His friend, and crowned the long series 
of His miracles of mercy by raising him from the dead 
and presenting him to his sorrowing sisters. Hence He 
set out on His last entry into Jerusalem — the triumphal 
procession to the cross ; and close by, though out of 
sight of the village. His feet last touched the earth, and 
with arms stretched out to bless, the cloud received Him 
from the sight of His gazing disciples. 

As in all other i)arts of the Holy Land, so in Bethany, 
localities have been found for every Gosi)el incident. 
The house of Simon the leper, of Lazarus, and especially 
his tomb, are shown to every traveller. The tomb is a 
deep vault, dug out of the rock, to which there is access 
by a steep staircase. It is in the middle of the village, 
and most unlike in character and situation to Jewish 
sepulchres. But there are innumerable spots close to 
the village where the tomb may have ])een. At least, , 
we aro certain it was not far o IT. I'lil, apart from the 


question of holy places and their identity, there are 
three points of interest further to be noticed at 
Betliany : the road to Jerusalem, the view from the 
place itself, and the site of the Ascension. 

Though there are three paths which lead to the Holy 
City, there can be no (piestion but that the triumphal 
entry was by that round the southern base of Olivet. 
Paths, like wells, are in the East the most unchanging 
of human institutions. The distance is little more than a 
mile and a half — fifteen furlongs. Bethany stands in a 
shallow hollow, scooped out of the shoulder of the hill. 
The path follows this till the descent begins at a turn 
where the first view of the Temple is caught. First 
appeared the castles and walls of the City of David ; and 
immediately afterwards the glittering roofs of the 
Temple, and the gorgeous royal arcade of Herod, with 
its long range of battlements overhanging the southern 
edge of Moriah, Then burst forth the shout of 
''Hosanna"; and at that moment the national pride of 
the disciples impelled them to exclaim, " See what 
manner of stones and what buildings are here ! '' 

Not so easily identified, but scarcely less certain, is 
the site of the Ascension, on a little platform, as far 
from Jerusalem as Bethany, but between the two, retired 
from the latter by the little brow above the village, and 
shut out from Jerusalem by the ridge of Olivet. It cer- 
tainly was not on the crest of the hill where modern 
tradition places it ; for that is not as far as Bethany, 
and, from its conspicuous and exposed situation, wholly 
inappropriate. It is on the hidden and secluded slope, 
just above the village of Lazarus, that we may meditate 
undisturbed on the crowning act of our redemption. 




Jerusalem— Natural pcsition and strength— SiuTOuiiding hills— Vallej' of Hinnom 
and Kedron — Tyropa^on — City of David — Steps — .Mount Moriah — Ancient 
walls — Mount Zion — Salem or City of David — Upper City — 3/('iv'.'<^(;i— ('rusad- 
ing buildings — Akra— Xystus — Mount Moriah—Araunah's threshing-floor— 
Ophcl — Its walls and towers— Bezetha — Tower of Hippicus— ^Palace of Ilerod 
— South line of city way — First wall — Jebusite houses — Second wall— Gate 
(iennath — Goliath's castle— Third wall — Gates of Jerusalem — Roads from 
.Jericho — from Joppa — from the north — from Bethlehem— Platform of the 
Temple — Dome of the Rock — Ca\es— Site of the Altar and Holy Place — 
Natural form of the Mount — Its lidge-East wall of the Platform — Amount 
t){ ilebrt.9— Golden Gate— Size of stones — South wall— Triple Gate— Solomon's 
Stables — Royal Porch — Robinson's Arch — West wall — Wilson's Arch — 
Tower of Antonia— Pool of Betliesda— -Vasr/*'*' of El Ak-so — Mosque of 
.Jesus— (Jrypts of the T(Mnple--Dom(' of tlu; Roll — Solomon's Porcli — Water 
supply- Solomon's I'ools and A(iuoducts — Upixu" Pool of (Jihon — Tjower 
Pool of Gihon— Pool of Hezokiah — En-Rogel — Fountain of the Virgin — 
King's Pool— Pool of Siloam— Village of Siloam— W*';- ii//<'/>— Subterranean 
outlets-Tombs — Tomb of David — Aceldama — Tombs in the Valley of Jehosh- 
aphat—(iethsemane— Tombs of the Kings — of the Judges— Church of the 
Holy Sepulchre— Sieges of Jerusalem — Alexander the (Jreat— Antiochus— 
The Maccabees — Pompey — Ilerod — Titus — Adrian — .fs//a Capitol iiui — C(m- 
stantinc — Julian— Chosroes II. — KhalifOmar — Crusades— Baldwin — Salad in. 

The City of Jerusalem, said by the monkish writers to 
be the centre of the earth, is empliatically the centre 
of Pah'stine. It is exactly on the wat(U'.shed of the 
Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, 2650 feet above the 
level of the former : a truly mountain city. Built on 
the very ])ackbon(! of tlie country — the summit of tliat 
long ridj;e wliich the TTolv Land from north 
to south, and only approachable by wihl mountain roads 
— tlu' position of tlu^ city was one of great natural 
strength. 'I'wo l)ohl s[)urs project southward, side by 

JlFiiri'lillllllHilllliill:: II imtM iH ,liMii,iL i m.' \> Mtu ii;ji um t \ m:v vaWu i.tAWm W 



side, from the mountain plateau, the westernmost pro- 
jecting further and slightly towering above its sister. 

Between the plateau, on which the city stands, and 
the great tract of Benjamin to the north of it, treated 
of in the last chapter, there is no natural lavine worthy 
of mention ; the only barrier is found in a few slight 
depressions, where only after rains is there any water. 
The city itself is not on the highest peak, as all the 
other hills rise somewhat higher than the plateau on 
which the city stands. On the west, a long ridge is 
slightly higher, without any special elevations : to the 
south is the " Hill ^f Evil Counsel," to the south-east 
the "Mount of Oft'ence," on the east the ''Mount of 
Olives,'' and to the north the hill ''Scopus." This 
position explains the illustration in Ps. cxxv. 2 : "As 
the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord 
is round about His people from henceforth even for 

But the great natural strength of the position lies in 
the ravines which separate it from these surrounding 
hills. The whole of the table-land is rocky, and rifted 
by deep gullies, through which flows no constant stream, 
but only the intermittent torrents which carry off the 
winter rains. The twin hills of Zion and Moriah are 
enclosed, excepting on the north, by the ravines of 
Jlinnom and of Kedron. They rise to the north of 
Jerusalem, very near each other. The westernmost— 
the Valley of Iliniiom, Wady er Kahj\bi, or Jehenna — 
nnis southward for a mile and a quarter, skirting the 
city of David to the west, then turns suddenly to the 
east, and, passing through a deep gorge, joins the 
Kedron at Bir Eyub, a deep well, south-east of the city. 
The Valley of Kedron or Jehoffhajj/iaf, Wady en NAr, 
beginning to the north of the city, runs eastward for a 
mile and a half, and then Uiakes a sharp bond southward, 
skirting the Mount Moriah, separating it from the 



Mount of Olives, and rapidly descends, till, at its 
junction with the Yalley of Hiiniom, it is 670 feet 
below its original starting-point. 

A third ravine, the Tyropa^on of the ancients (^. e. 
the valley of tlie Cheesemongers, or, perhaps, the 
Tyrians), rises well up in the plateau, passes through 
the heart of the city, dividing Bezetha and Mount 
Moriah from the Upper City and the City of David, and 
then enters the basin formed by the confluence of the 
other two, near the Pool of Siloam and the King's 
Garden. From that point the united gorge pursues a 
south-east course, under the name of the Kedron, pass- 
ing the Convent of Marsaba, and enters the basin of the 
Dead Sea. Thus we see that these • gorges, in their 
passage round the city, completely separate it from the 
surrounding district on three sides : east, south, and 

The sides of the valleys of Kedron and Hinnom are 
now encumbered with rubbish ; but they are still suf- 
ficiently steep to be difficult of access, and every here 
and there the rock has been scarped, or cut perpen- 
dicularly downwards, to give additional security. This 
is shown when the cUhris has been cleared away, as at 
the south-west corner and southern face of Mount Zion, 
where, in the English cemetery, the steep and much- 
worn steps, hewn in the side of the rock, are exposed. 
They are alluded to when David, in his siege of the 
Jebusites, proclaimed: "Whosoever getteth uj) to the 
gutter and smiteth the Jebusites . . . .he shall be 
chief and captain " (2 Sam. v. 8). Further east are the 
w-ell-known steps of Nehemlah, spoken of in Neh. iii. 15 : 
" The wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, 
and unto the stairs that go doivn from the city of Davids 
Here we have the exact position of these steps : west of 
the Gate of the Fountain and of the King's Gardens, 
wdiich are admitted to be in the valley leading down to 


the Pool of Siloam, where they may he i^een and trodden 
to this day, on the steep sides of Ophel. 

On the eastern hill, Mount Moriah, once stood the 
Temples of Solomon, of Zerubbabel, and Herod, with 
the Tower of Antonia and the Pool of Bethesda l)ehind 
them ; and on the western liill, or Mount Zion, 120 feet 
hif'her than Moriah, was the old city and fortress of the 
Jebusites, afterwards the City of David ; and here, in 
later or New Testament times, was the Palace of Herod, 
the three towers of Hippicus, Phasaelis, and Mariamne, 
and the Upper City of Josephus. 

The city of Jerusalem, surrounded on three sides by 
such steep precipices, undoubtedly owes its security to 
them : for, before the invention of gunpowder, though 
commanded, as we have seen, by higher eminences, it 
was effectually shielded from attack, and only exposed 
on the north side, where there is no natural break 
between the rock on which it was built and the great 
ridge or plateau behind. This quarter was consequently 
always defended l)y the best fortifications the people 
could build. Though the city was repeatedly taken and 
destroyed, yet new walls, on the northern side, were 
constantly put in the place of those which had been 
swept away. lEow different would have been the fate 
of Jerusalem, if it had l)een on the coast, or on a fertile 
plain ! Its site might have changed after each catas- 
trophe. But "Jerusalem is Imilded as a city that is 
compact together" (Ps. cxxii. 3). "He built His 
sanctuary like liigh palaces, like the earth wliich He 
liath csta])lished for over" (Ps. Ixxviii. 09). 

Only on the north, then, could the city be extended : 
and to determine its northern limits is the most difficult 
task in studying the ancient topography of Jerusalem : 
for the line of walls did not de])end upon the form of 
the ground, Imt solely upon the will of the builders. 
There were, besides, in the height of its i)rosi)erity, 


three lines of wnll, at a considerable distance from each 
other, the results of successive enlargements of the 
j>lace. In the lapse of centuries the old architectural 
structures disappeared and gave place to others, often 
built on the site of old ones. All the assaults against 
the city were made on the north side, from those of 
Sennacherib, when he halted at Nob, and of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, down to those of the Saracens and Turks. 


Leaving for the present the exact position of the 
northern wall indeterminate, we can yet trace, with 
tolerable accuracy, the divisions of the Holy City, as 
it existed in the Scripture periods. These were : 1st, 
Mount Zion or the Ujyper City ; 2nd, Ahra or the Lower 
City ; 3rd, 3Ioo'iah or the Temjde Area ; 4th, Oplid ; 5th, 

1st, Mount Zion. This was the highest and the largest 
of the hills on which the city stood. Only a portion of 
it is comprised within the modern walls, which have 
shrunken northward, so as to leave the southern part of 
the ridge outside. The crest of Zion is more than 300 
feet above the Kedron at En-Rogel. It was the first 
spot in Jerusalem occupied by buildings. Probably the 
Salem of Melchizedek, it was certainly the Jehus of the 
Jebusites, and then the City of David (2 Sam. v. 7), the 
Upper City or Upper Market of Josephus. Here David 
built his palace, and for more than a thousand years the 
kings and the foreign rulers who succeeded him resided 
here. In it David constructed the Royal Sepulchre, 
where he and fourteen of his successors were laid in the 
grave. Zion was the last spot which held out against 
Titus and the Romans. When the Temple fortress had 
been stormed, the last remnant of the Jews crossed the 
Tyropjeon by the bridge, and held the City of David and 


the old palace of their kings till the very last, and 
perished among its ruins. 

It may be asked whether this be the same as the 
City of David, and whether that were not rather to the 
north-west of the Temple area, the same as the Akra or 
Lower City of Josephus. Sir C. Warren has very ably 
discussed this question, into which, however, it is not 
necessary to enter, as it but slightly affects the topo- 
graphy of the city generally. Sir C. Warren has shown 
that there are strong reasons for believing the identity 
of DavicVs Zion and the Akra of Josephus, which he 
places midway between the Temple area and the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre ; taking the Upper City of Josephus 
to be the same with the modern Zion. 

Taking, however, the modern Zion as identical with 
the City of David and the Upper City of Josephus, its 
limits are clear. The researches of Sir C. Wilson and 
Sir C. Warren have shown that the Tyrop?eon Valley has 
been filled up to the depth of 120 feet between Zion and 
Moriah, at the south-west angle of the Temple area ; and 
that the rock here must have been inaccessible, till the 
l>ridge was thrown across the ravine very near the Dung 
Gate, which is the south-east gate in the wall of Zion. 
Zion and Akra were fronting each other, we are told by 
Josephus, separated by a valley, at which the rows of 
houses terminated. This valley must, therefore, have 
bounded Zion to the north. No trace of it apj)ears on 
the surface; but the excavations of the Palestine Explor- 
ation Fund have shown that, undernoath the rubbish 
over which stand the modern buildings, there is a distinct 
valley — in fact, the upper portion of the Tyropajon — 
commencing near the Pool of Hezekiah, within the Jaffa 
Gate, a few yards to the north of the citadel, and run- 
liing due east towards the north-west angle of Mount 

This vaHey crosses what is now called the Muristan, a 


wide Vcicant space within the city, now merely an arable 
field, but once the site of the Hospice of the Knights of 
St. John, and of the Convent of St. Mary. This most in- 
teresting area, now the property of the German Govern- 
ment, has been thoroughly explored, and the whole of the 
buildings shown to be the work of the Crusaders, though 
at different dates. They are built on the debris of 
former structures, varying from 20 to 50 feet in depth. 
The rock which forms the bottom of the Tyropteon 
valley is here 50 feet below ground, and has been 
examined for a distance of more than 100 feet. Two 
magnificent reservoirs are the only remaining ancient 
structures that rest upon the rock itself. The super- 
incumbent buildings of the Knights are among the finest 
medifcval remains in the country. 

From the Muristan the valley enters what is recognized 
as the Valley of the Tyropneon, nearly opposite the Dome 
of the Kock, or the crest of Mount Moriah. The beginning 
of this western branch of the Tyropseon can be distinctly 
seen by the Jaffa Gate, where the old massive Tower of 
Herod — the lower courses of which are probably of the 
date of David or Solomon — is founded on a scarped rock, 
which rises 40 feet above the bottom of the ditch, and 
is the rocky crest on which, Josephus tells us, the three 
great towers were built. 

2nd, Ahra. The valley we have traced, now filled in 
with rubbish, evidently separated the Akra from the 
Upper City. [Whether the Akra of Josephus be, as 
Sir C. Warren holds, identical with the Zion of David, 
does not affect this question.] The Akra is not men- 
tioned in Scripture. Josephus tells us it was separated 
also from the Temple Mount by a broad valley, across 
which was another hill, not so high. This valley, which 
ran from north to south, was filled up by the Asmonean 
princes, in order to connect the city with the Temple ; 
and to supply material, they levelled the top of Akra. 



The Akra, then, would comprise the greater part of the 
})rescnt Christian quarter, north of" the Jaffa Gate, 
including the Church of the Sepulchre and the western 
part of the Mohammedan quarter. 

The name Millo frequently occurs in connection with 
ancient Jerusalem. Among the Amarna tablets, in a 
letter which Lt.-Col. Conder refers to Adonizedek, from 
Jerusalem, he states that he remains (awaiting the 
attack of the 'Abiri) in Beth Amilla, evidently the 
Beth ham Millo (2 Sam. v. 9), ''house of the chiefs." It 
was the royal palace in the lower city (Akra) north of 
Zion. Millo is mentioned when David took the city 
from the Jebusites (2 Sam. v. 9). It was one of the 
great works of Solomon (1 Kings iv. 15, etc.). Hezekiah, 
too, " repaired Millo, in the city of David " ; and here 
King Joash was murdered. It is difficult to say what 
Millo was. It has been explained as an old Canaan- 
itish name, applied to the fortress or " keep " of Mount 
Zion : the Akra of Maccabees but not of Josephus, the 
mound and fortifications of which were razed by Simon 
Maccabseus, after its capture from Antiochus. 

Silla, spoken of in connection with Millo (2 Kings xii. 
20), is quite unknown. 

3rd, Mount Moriah. We now cross the ravine of the 
Tyropaeon by what was called the Xystus, a strip of 
building and ground on the west of the ravine, lower 
than the crag of Zion. Several viaducts, or bridges, 
spanned the ravine, two of which — Robinson's Arch 
and Wilson's Arch— have been discovered south of the 
Xystus, which lay in the upper part of the valley. 
Moriah yields even less evidence on its surface of its 
oi'iginal form than does the western promontory of 
David's city. It is not so much a separate hill as the 
centre and highest portion of the eastern ridge. Origin- 
ally there was a mound of rock in the centre of this 
ridge, having only a narrow platform on the crest : the 


old threshing-floor of Araunah. Round this central 
platform rock, now called the Sakhra, Solomon raised 
a vast platform, supported partly by massive piers and 
arches, tier above tier, and partly by walls of stupendous 
masonry, filled in with stones and earth ; and the whole 
sub-structure largely utilized for tanks and reservoirs. 
The immense platform-wall of the Haram Area, as it is 
now called, still exists, and enables us at once to identify 
the general positions of the sacred building, and the 
extent of Moriah on three sides. To the north it was 
separated by another valley, now filled up, from Bezetha, 
by which was the deep reservoir or Fool of Bethesda. 
At the north-west angle was the Tower of Antonia, the 
military key of the position. 

It was on Mount Moriah that Abraham offered up 
his son Isaac and the typical ransom was found which 
so clearly set forth the Christian doctrine of substi- 
tution. The suggestion of Mount Gerizim as the theatre 
of this event and of the Lord's promise to the Patriarch 
cannot be admitted as according with the details of the 
narrative. But the immediate cause of its selection as 
the site of the future Temple was the fact of the de- 
stroying angel in the pestilence here staying his hand 
over the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite, in 
response to the prayers and sacrifice of David (1 Chron. 
xxi. 14 — 27). It is evident that, up to this time, Jeru- 
salem had not extended east of the Tyropaion. 

4th, Ophel. Tills name was applied to the southern 
low projecting shoulder of Moriah, beyond the south 
wall of the Temple platform. This ridge extends south 
to the Pool of Siloam, at the junction of the Kedron 
and the Tyropieon, terminating in the cliff that over- 
hangs the pool, and which forms the apex of a long 
triangle. The whole of it is now outside the city walls, 
and is terraced for gardens, as the descent southwards 
is very steep. 


Ophel seems to have been enclosed in the city about 
the time of Solomon, or soon after, as we read (2 Chron. 
xxvii. 3) that King Jotham " on the wall of Ophel built 
much " ; and there could scarcely have been very much 
extension of the city in the period between Solomon and 
Jotham. Afterwards we read of large extensions of the 
city by Manasseh, and that he " compassed about Ophel, 
and raised it up a very great height" (2 Chron. xxxiii. 
14). Nehemiah also included it, and assigned it as the 
convenient residence for the Nethinims, or Temple 
servants (Neh. iii. 27). 

The eastern wall of Ophel has been discovered by 
Sir C. Warren, at a depth of seventy feet beneath the 
surface — so vast is the accumulation of rubbish — being 
a continuation, at a very oblique angle, of the east wall 
of the Temple platform. In these discoveries there is 
interesting: illustration of the minute allusions in the 
Sacred History. 

Sir C. Warren suggests that Ophel may have been 
the site of King Solomon's palace, evidently at a lower 
level than the Temple, and, therefore, King Jotham 
may still have built much on the wall. Manasseh 
raised it up to "a very great height," and the buried 
portion is still 70 feet high, which our explorers 
have traced, and have measured a great tower of drafted 
stones, which is evidently that of which Nehemiah 
speaks : " The great tower that lieth out, even unto the 
wall of Ophel" (iii. 27). Sir C. Warren also remarks 
on masonry let into the wall to strengthen it, evidently 
subsequent to its first erection, and yet of the same 
antique Jewish dressing : thus evidencing the additions 
of Jotham and Manasseh. A suggestion which has 
lately been proposed with some confidence, that Ophel is 
the site of the original Zion or City of David, is so 
grotesquely impossible, that it is needless to refute it. 
It is based on disputed identifications of the Pools of 


Gilion and the Siloam tunnel. To accept it, would be to 
suppose, independently of the question of space, that 
the chief fortress of the land was built on a low slope 
commanded by a bold hill immediately behind it. A 
glance at the locality, and the slightest knowledge of 
the positions of ancient fortresses is enough to dismiss 
the hypothesis at once. 

5th, Bezetlia. This, the latest addition to the city, is 
not mentioned in Holy Scripture. It is very precisely 
described by Josephus, who tells us that, the city 
gradually overflowing, the inhabitants crept beyond the 
walls ; and the quarter north of the Temple made so 
considerable an advance, that a fourth hill, Bezetlia, i. e. 
new town, was added. He also states that it was 
separated from Antonia (the fort at the north-west 
angle of the Temple platform) by a deep trench, exca- 
vated in the rock, to strengthen the Tower of Antonia, 
and render it less accessible. He adds that Bezetha was 
the highest of all the hills, and alone overshadowed the 
Temple on the north. These particulars identify it 
beyond a shadow of doubt. It forms the greater part 
of the Mohammedan (quarter of modern Jerusalem : a 
broad, irregular ridge, separated from Moriali by the 
fosse and great Pool of Bethesda, from Akra by the 
Hasmonean Valley, and with a rugged, precipitous 
descent on the east to the Valley of Jehoshaphat or 
Kedron. The northern part, now a Moslem cemetery, 
is outside the wmIIs. From Mount Scopus i^Xob of Old 
Testament) a good view of the Mos(]ue of Omar may be 
had. This view is lost as we descend the hill, being 
just cut olT by the higher ground of Bezetlia. It is 
inipoitant to bear in mind that Bezetha, though in- 
habited, was not surroundcul l)y a wall till eight years 
after the (Jrucilixion of our Lord, when Herod Agrippa 
fortified it. Had it been part of the earlier city, the 
traditionary site of the Churcli of tiie Holy Sepulchre 



would have been absolutely impossible, ns this must 
have ))een within the third wall. 


Of the ancient walls of Jerusalem few traces are left 
above ground. The most interesting remaining building 
of the Upper City, indeed the only erection above ground 


which survived the destruction by Titus, is the Tower of 
Jlippicus, by the Jaffa Gate, built by Herod the Great 
on the crest of the hill ; and which Titus left as a 
specimen of the fortifications over which he had tri- 
umphed. It stood at the north-west angle of the wall of 
the Upper City. The Crusaders called it the '^ Tower 
of BavklJ' It still forms part of the fortifications, as it 
has done in every rebuilding of the walls. 

On the open space near it, on the highest point of the 



City of David, have been erected the neat English 
Church, with its parsonage attached, and other Mission 
buildings, belonging to the London Society for pro- 
moting Christianity among the Jews. The services in 
the church are celebrated in several languages, to meet 
the requirements of Jewish converts and other Protestant 

Beyond this, to the east, stood two similar massive 


towers, P/iasaeiis and Mariamne, but their sites liavenot 
been rediscovered. These towers were in the first wall, 
which wont thence to the Xysius, the place of public 
assembly, connected at its soutliern end with the Temple 
by a bridge, probably the very one lately discovered by 
Sir C. Wilson, west of the Dome of the Kock, known 
now as Wilson's Arch. 

Adjoining the Xystus, and near to the wall at this 


spot, was the Palace of Herod. This was probably on 
the site of the Palace of David, and seems, in Herod's 
time, to have been extended right across the hill to the 
western towers. To this palace our Lord was sent by 
Pilate to be examined before Herod. 

From Hippicus, southward, the wall seems to have 
extended far beyond the present circuit to the very edge 
of the ravine of Hinnom, where is now the English 
school and burying-ground. The English Diocesan 
School is built over the south-west angle of the wall, or 
rather of the scarped rock on which the wall was built. 
Some idea of the strength of the fortifications may be 
gained from an examination of this rock scarp, which is 
exposed on the south-west face over the Greek Catholic 
cemetery, and then again along the south face of the hill 
over the Protestant cemetery, nearly to the brow of the 
Tyropajon. Several massive buttresses of rock eight 
feet by four are visible, and the foundations of seven 
towers (the four eastern ones having only been dis- 
covered in 1895 by Mr. Bliss). The rock foundation of the 
tower at the south-west angle is forty-five feet each way, 
and the level is twenty feet above the ledge of the scarp 
surrounding it. Along the line of scarp are eighteen 
ancient cisterns, from eight to twenty feet deep, which 
seem to have supplied the towers. These are one hundred 
and sixty feet, or one hundred cubits apart. Josephus 
tells us the old wall had sixty of these towers, and the 
foundations agree in measurement with his description. 
If the towers were, as he says, nearly equidistant, the 
sixty would just occupy the enceinte which we have given 
to the old or original wall. Within the last few months 
a long stretch of the lower wall outside the aqueduct, 
and from it to the Temple, has been uncovered by Mr. 
Bliss. Immediately under the present surface is a wall 
of Crusading masonry, of which from twelve to fourteen 
feet from the foundation remains m situ. This rests upon 


ten feet of rubble. Below the rubble are from three to 
ten feet of (Jrhrls. Below the di'hris he found a wall, of 
which above eight hundred feet have been already traced, 
with its foundation on the native rock. It is composed 
of magnificent masonry, the blocks perfectly fitting, so 
that a knife-point cannot be inserted. This can be 
none other than the wall of Zion, built by David or 
Solomon, the masonry being of the very earliest Jewish 
type. At one spot an extraordinary bastion has been 
revealed, with walls fourteen feet thick, but containing 
laterally six square chambers, with no openings, aiid 
with partition walls almost as thick as those of the 
bastion itself. Within another tower is a square chamber 
partly sunk into the rock, and round which the tower 
has been built, the interstices being filled in with rubble. 
This and other similar chambers, Mr. Bliss considers, can 
be none other than ancient Jebusite houses, as they 
must have existed before the Israelitish fortifications 
were commenced. The wall thence crossed the Tyropa^on 
Valley, close to its junction with the Kedron at Siloam, 
which fountain seems to have been within the walls. 
Thence it embraced the whole of Ophel, leaving En- 
lioyel, the Fountain of the Virgin, just outside it, and 
thence it continued northwards, forming the east waU 
of the Temple platform, by the Golden Gate, on its 
present lines, to the north-east corner of the Temple 

Within this was a still older rampart, running on the 
west side of the Tyropjeon and making the Upper City 
defensible, even after the capture of the Temple. This 
wall embraced the old fortress of Jebus, the " City of 
David," strictly so called. 

The ficcnv// wall is more difficult to trace. It em- 
braced Akra or the Lower City, beginning at the Gate 
(femiath, or (larden Gate, of tlu^ King's Palace. An 
iirched gateway has Ijoou uncovered on <ho northern 


brow of the Zion hill within the city walls near the 
tower of Hippicus, on the traditional site of the Gennath 
Gate, and which is most probably a Roman or crusading 
work, built in the direction of the original structure. 
Dr. Robinson argues with great force that this wall 
commenced very near the Tower of Hippicus, as it was 
there Titus made his assault, after he had taken the 
second wall. The Pool of Hezekiah must have been 
within it, and thence, after embracing Akra, it ter- 
minated at the north-west angle of the Tower of Antonia* 
We know, from Josephus, that no attack was ever made 
against the Upper City until the second wall and Lower 
City had been taken : therefore it must have protected 
the whole Upper City. The conclusions of Dr. Robinson 
have been vehemently impugned by the upholders of the 
traditional sacred site of the Sepulchre ; because, if his 
theory be true — and it seems to be in accordance with 
history and topography — the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre is far within its limits, and, therefore, cannot 
be the place where our Saviour suffered " without the 

The third loall is of less interest here, as it was not 
completed till after the close of Scripture history. It 
commenced from the Tower Hippicus, and ran north to 
the Tower Pse2?Jiinus, on a more commanding site. The 
identification of the piers of this tower is one of the 
most interesting of recent discoveries. On the site of 
Kal'at Jahud, Goliath's Castle, where there is a large 
French monastery and hospice, there have been un- 
covered the massive foundations and lower courses of 
a tower of prodigious strength, and some portions at 
least are ascribed by the best authorities to the age of 
the Kings of Judah. The third wall seems here to have 
diverged from the second wall in order to embrace 
Bezetha. If this be so, it is more difficult than ever 
to conceive the possibility of the site of the Church of 




the Holy Sepulchre having been outside the second wall, 
especially when further within the city we find the 
massive substructures under the Russian consulate. 
The wall then passed opposite the monument of Helena, 
now known as the Tombs of the Kings, and then by the 
''Royal Caverns" to the Tower of the Corner, by the 
Fuller's Tomb. These sites are not ascertained with 


any certainty ; but the natural course may easily be 
traced on the spot, and the Tower of the Corner must 
have been on the crest of the ridge, where the Valley 
of the Kedron, after 'flowing east, makes ji sliarp tui-n 
southward. The wall thence ran southward by the 
(!rest of tlie ridge till it reached the Temple wall at its 
north-east extremity. This outline sliows how vastly 


iTi'eater was the area of the ancient than of the modern 
city, both on the north and south. 


Of course the gates are much less easy to determine 
than the outlines of the walls. No less than twenty- 
three names of gates are given in the Bible, including 
those of the Temple, though some of them may be 
diii'erent names of the same gate. Nehemiah gives 
nine in order, in the account of the rebuilding, and 
names two others afterwards. Few of these can be 
identified. The Fountain Gate was doubtless on the 
south, near Siloam. It appears to be that by which 
Zedekiah attempted to escape : " By the way of the 
gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden " 
(Jer. Hi. 7). The two walls may have been the inner 
wall of the City of David and the outer first wall. 
The Gate of Samaria corresponded to the modern 
Damascus Gate. " The Gate of the Valley, before the 
Dragon Well" (Neh. ii. 13), was opposite the Fountain 
of Gihon, at the north-west end of Zion, probably a 
little north of the modern Jaffa Gate. Dr. Porter 
suggests its identity with the Gate Gennath and the 
Water Gate of Josephus. The Dung Gate is placed by 
tradition at the south-east of the City of David. 


Though the gates were so numerous, the approaches 
to the city were but few. There seem to have been 
but four main approaches to the city : 1st, from the 
Jordan Valley by Jericho and the Mount of Olives, 
sweeping round its southern base. This was identical 
with the modern road to Jericho and the Jordan, and 
was that invariably used from the east, and frequently 


from the north. By it David fled from Absalom. By 
it our Lord repeatedly came to Jerusalem, not only in 
His last journey from Pei'?ea, when He raised Lazarus, 
but in other journeys from Galilee (Luke xviii. 35). 
It was also used by Pekah, King of Israel, on his 
return to Samaria after his victory over Ahaz (2 Chron. 
xxviii. 15). 

The road from Joppa and the west was not that 
usually traversed by modern travellers, but lay a little 
to the north of it, ascending by the pass of Beth-horon, 
described in the last chapter, as far as Gibeon, whence 
it turned to the south hj Gibeah and Ramah, and 
descended from the north upon the city. Though 
seldom used by Europeans, this track is still followed 
by the native muleteers, and is less steep than what is 
known familiarly as the Jaffa road. The latter passed 
by Kirjath-jearim, but does not seem ever to have been 
used by large bodies of men, whether from the south, 
Philistia, or from Csesarea and the north. 

The modern road towards Samaria by Bireh (Beeroth), 
which is invariably followed by modern travellers, is 
also an ancient route. It was less adapted for the 
passage of armies than the others. It seems to have been 
that by which Ahaziah would have fled to Jerusalem, 
when Jehu slew him " by the way of the garden house," 
i. e. FiKjaitnini, the modern Jenin. By this road, too, 
our Lord must have passed when, wearied with His 
journey, He rested by Jacob's Well, outside the gate 
of Shechem. 

There was a fourth road, due south, to Bethlehem 
and Hebron, the course of which is still followed, and 
which, like the others, was carefully constructed and 
paved by Solomon. Along this road, tradition says, 
he often drove his chariots to Bethlehem. Tliough for 
centuries no wheel carriage has ever passed on a road 
in Palestine, yet on nil these lines there arc occasional 


traces of the old pavements, some of which may date 
back to the time of Solomon. 


Of all the buildings of the Jerusalem of the Bible, 
scarce a recognizable trace remains above ground outside 
of the Temple platform. Eleven sieges and destructions 
have utterly erased all that was visible of the city 
of the Maccabees and Nehemiah, still more of the 
city of the Jewish monarchy, of David and of Solomon. 
The Palestine Exploration Committee has brought to 
light various subterranean works, which we may glance 
at in studying the water supply. But it may be well 
to examine more particularly the Temple area and 
the huge platform on Mount Moriah. It is wholly 
beyond the scope of this volume to enter on the various 
views set forth by different writers as to these localities. 
Almost every author has had his own theory. But 
as many of these have been set at rest by the ex- 
cavations and tunnels of Sir C. Wilson and Sir C. 
Warren, we shall not attempt more than to give a 
general view, such as seems to be best in accordance 
with the history and topography, without entering into 
the controversies which bristle round the subject. 

The platform, now called Haram esh Sherif, is a 
vast artificial work, raising the area nearly to a level 
with the central rock, which we suppose to have been 
the site of Araunah's threshing-floor and of the altar of 
burnt-sacrifice in Solomon's Temple, now crowned with 
a magnificent dome, called the Kvhhet es Sahhra, or 
Dome of the Rock. The platform is supported by 
stupendous walls, built up from the slope of the hill on 
three sides. The enclosure is oblong, measuring 926 
feet on its south face and 1530 feet on its east side ; 
the northern and western sides being respectively a 



Araunah's tliresliing- 

little longer. AVe assume that 
floor must have been close to the central Dome of the 
Rock, because threshing-floors in the East are invariably 
placed on the ridges of hills and in the most exposed 
positions, in order that the corn and chaff may catch 
any breath of wind when they are thrown up into the 
air by the shovel. "They became like the chaff of the 
summer threshing-floor, and the wind carried them away." 


There is nothing extraordinary in the shape or isolated 
position of the sacred rock, which is simply the central 
peak of 'the rugged hill, lioneath it is a cave, to which 
there is an entrance by stops at the south-eastern side 
of the rock. The cave is similar to others in the neigh- 
l)()urhood of .forusalem. Tt may have been artiflcially 
enlarged, l)ut tlio marks of chiselling, if any, are con- 


cealod by the plaster. In the centre of its roof is a 
cylindrical opening penetrating to the top of the rock, 
like the mouth of a cistern ; ut its sides are not fur- 
rowed by the marks of draw-ropes. On the floor of the 
cave is a small slab of marble, which the Mohammedans 
call the " Well of the Spirits. It is possible that this 
cave was the receptacle for the offal of the sacrifices and 
connected by a system of sluices with the water supply, 
which was so arranged as to carry off under-ground all 
the refuse of the burnt-oiferings of the daily sacrifices 
as well as the blood, without its being seen : this we 
learn from the rabbinical commentaries. As will be 
noticed hereafter, Sir C. Warren, with great probability, 
assigns the Dome of the Roll, a little to the south-east 
of the Dome of the Kock, as the exact spot of the altar 
of burnt-oifering. 

The position of the great altar being determined, we 
can easily fix approximately the site of the Holy Place 
and of the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place stood 
exactly west of the altar of burnt-sacrifice ; and west of 
it, only accessible through it, was the Holy of Holies, 
separated off by the Veil of the Temple. These, there- 
fore, probably stood exactly between the Kubbet es 
Sakhra and the west wall of the area, about a hundred 
yards north of the viaduct which spanned the Valley 
of the Tyrop?eon, and recently discovered by Sir C. 
Wilson, P.E. 

Over the central rock now stands the magnificent 
Dome, said by the Mohammedans to have been erected 
by the Moslem chief Abd-el-Melek, but which may 
possibly have been an earlier Christian edifice. The 
theory that it is the Church built by Constantine over 
the Holy Sepulchre seems sufiiciently disposed of by 
Mr. Williams, in "The Holy City." During the 
Crusades, it was of course occupied as a Christian 
cathedral, It is a sumptuous building, richly adorned 


with marbles of various colours, many of which probably 
formed part of Herod's Temple. There are fifty-six 
pointed windows, filled with the richest stained glass, 
and the eye is dazzled and confused by the brilliancy of 
their colours and of the encaustic tiles with which the 
piers are sheathed. There is an inner circle of marble 
columns, of different sizes and fashions, evidently taken 
from earlier buildings, perhaps from the porticoes of 
Herod's Temple. The whole interior is richly gilded ; 
and Arabic texts encircle the edge of the dome within, 
beautifully interlaced in Arabesque fashion. 

The labours of Sir C. "Wilson and Sir C.Warren, K.E., 
have enabled us to form an exact conception of what 
Mount Moriah was before Solomon commenced his vast 
works. They have shown us that the rocky Mount is 
one vast system of caverns and cisterns : that it is 
everywhere pierced by wells and honeycombed by 
reservoirs. Having obtained the height of the surface 
of the native rock in all the tanks of the Sanctuary, 
and having also measured the exact height of the rock 
along the foundation-line of the platform-wall on all 
sides, we have now a very exact description of the 
natural shape of Moriah. It is somewhat flattened at 
the top, and the ridge runs along from the north-west 
angle of the platform, neai'ly in a straight line, south- 
east by south, till it reaches the Triple Gate, about 100 
yards west of the south-east angle of the platform, 
whero it is 65 feet l)elow the crest of the rock. East 
and west of the central ridge the rock slopes rapidly, 
so that tlie north-east angle is 162 feet, the south-east 
163 feet, and the south-west 150 foot below the sacred 
rock. I.'his means that the platform has been raised on 
a vast sub-structure, which commences on all sides, 
excepting at the north-west junction of the ridge, 150 
feet or more below the level of the summit. Tt would 
be absurd, thorcforo, to suppose that Solouiou ])l:iced 



his Temple anywhere but on tlie central ridge, round 
which he elevated this stupendous platform, nearly 
1000 by 1600 feet, in order to accommodate the wor- 
shippers at the great festivals, and to enable all to see 
the sacrifice on the altar. 


The east wall of the platform seems to have been 
always on the same site where first placed by KSolomon, 
and the greater part of the existing wall below ground 
to be his actual work. The wall has all the appearance 
of being a part of the very oldest work; and here, more- 
over, the recent excavations have revealed to us the 



masons' marks on the buried stones of the foundations, 
painted in red vermilion, and which have been decided 
to be Phoenician, and, therefore, certainly older than 
the Captivity. These characters are found both at the 
north-east and south-east anglefe of this wall, which is 

though the northern 

more than 1600 feet in length, 

portion of St. Stephen's Gate, and also the front of the 


Golden Gate, 1020 feet from the south angle, slightly 
project. The existence of these Phoenician letters, 
buried for nearly three thousand years, is an interesting 
illustration of the fact mentioned in 1 Kings v. and 
2 Chron. ii., of Hiram, King of Tyre, supplying Solomon 
with cunning workmen to direct the execution of the 
building of the Temple. 

So enormous has boon the mass of rubbish thrown 


down from the pLitform into tlie Kcdron Valley, at tlio 
successive destructions of Jerusalem, that the debris is 
lieaped against the wall to a depth varying from 30 feet 
at the Golden Gate, to 80 feet at the soiith-east angle, 
and 142 feet in the deep valley filled up near the north- 
east angle at St. Stephen's Gate. The result of the 
accumulation of this mass of material is, that the bed 
of the Kedron has been pushed 30 yards to the east- 
ward, and raised 42 feet above its original level. 

The most striking feature in the eastern wall is what 
is called the Golden Gate, with a double portal and semi- 
circular arches long since walled up. It is evidently a 
later insertion. Both Jews and Mohammedans here 
localize the scene of the Last Judgment, — an interesting 
coincidence, when we remember that it was probably 
in front of this gangway, now choked and crowded with 
tombs, that our Lord, standing on the slope of Olivet, 
described the events of the gathering of all nations 
before Him for judgment. 

The stones of the eastern, as of all the platform 
walls, are of great size and accurate workmanship. 
The joints are close, and the finishing of the bevelling 
and facing is so clean and fine, that, when fresh from 
the hands of the builder, it must have produced the 
effect of gigantic relievo-panelling. The chief corner- 
stones are 20 feet long, and some are 6 feet in height, 
but are exceeded by some in the south wall, which are 
23 feet long, and one 38 feet 9 inches long. '' The 
foundation was of costly stones, even great stones ; 
stones of ten cubits and stones of eight cubits " 
(1 Kings vii. 9, 10). 

Equally amazing are the results of the excavations 
at the south wall of the platform. By the repeated 
sinking of shafts on the sloping face of Ophel, it is 
established that the south wall is buried for more than 
half its depth beneath an accumulation of rubbish, and 



that, if bared to its foundation, this wall would present 
an unbroken front of solid masonry, of nearly 1000 
feet long and 150 feet in height. The wall, as it now 
stands, with less than half the height emerging from 
the ground, has always been regarded as a marvel. 
What must it have been when entirely exposed to view, 
and the tall erections of the Temple towering over it ? 
No wonder that prophets and psalmists should have 


rejoiced in the walls and bulwarks of the Temple ; that 
simple peasants gazed on it with awe ; and tliat Tacitus 
should have descri])ed it as " ])uilt after the fasliion of 
a citadel." " AValk about Zion, and go round about 
her : tell the towers thereof. Mark yc well her bul- 
warks, consider her palaces ; that ye may tell it to the 
generation following " (Ps. xlviii. 13). 

'^I'hroe gates appear in tlio southern face, called the 
I)ou))k;, Tripk', and Single (Jiites. Tlie Triple and the 
Double, or iruldji Gates, divide the wall into three 
nearly ('(jual portions. At llie Tri[)le (Jate the rock 



comes nearly to the present surface, shelving rapidly 
to 90 feet at the south-east angle, and to an even greater 
depth under the rubbish at the south-west angle. 


It seems that Solomon's Palace originally stood at 
this south end of the platform, reaching about 600 feet 
from the east angle to the Double Gate ; and that the 
tradition is right which calls this Triple Gate, consisting 


of three arches, each 25 feet high and 14 wide, the 
entrance to Solomon's Stables, the great vaulted crypts 
which extended from those underneath the platform. 
Herod appears to have added the western third of the 
wall towards the Tyropseon, and on the whole he erected 
the magnificent colonnade, called the Royal Portico, 
which ran the whole length, with its pinnacles, 150 feet 
high, so that the spectator looked down 300 feet into the 
valley beneath. 

The Temple of Solomon would appear then to have 
been an oblong of over 900 feet by 600, with his Palace, 
600 by 300 feet, to the south of it : and a square of 
about 300 feet was added by Herod to complete the 
rectangle at the south-west, when the whole platform, 
including the site of the Palace, was thrown into the 
Temple area, thus making it co-extensive with the 
present Haram Area. 

A very interesting relic of the old city may yet be 
seen above ground in the spring of a Cyclopean arch at 
the south-west angle, discovered by Dr. Robinson, and 
whicli evidently belongs to a bridge which once spanned 
the Tyropseon, at a height of 115 feet from its bottom. 
This bridge is mentioned by Josephus. Beneath this 
arch the excavations have brought to light, buried under 
more than a hundred feet of rubbish, the old pavement, 
with the stones of the Temple lying on it exactly as they 
fell ; and beneath this, again, the stones of an earlier 
destroyed arch, and a conduit of fresh water, ilowing 
in a hewn channel, underneath again. We read in 
Josephus liow Titus parleyed with the Jews on the 
viaduct, after he had taken the arch, and they had 
retreated to the City of David ; and how, finally, reject- 
ing all his overtures, they withdrew the temporary 
supports of the undermined arch, and, with its fall, all 
hope of any surrender was finally extinguished. 

Further up the Tyropteon Valley Sir C. Wilson 



exposed the spring of aiiotlier arch, now known by his 
name, which may have connected the Temple area with 


Following the course of tlic west wall, by the side of 
the buried Tyropa3on Valley, for a little more than 600 
feet, we come to a second series of arches, buried under 
55 feet of rubbish, and discovered by Sir C. Wilson, 
with vast vaults, or reservoirs for water, underneath ; 


spiiiXG OF liOBiNsox's ARCH, sourii-w::sr anc;lk of tkmplk auka. 

and which arches formed another causeway, spanning 
the valley higher up, and attached to the western walls, 
undoubtedly of the very earliest date — the time of 
Solomon. Near this is the Wailing-place, the only 
part of the outside Temple walls which the Jews are 
permitted to approach, and where they gather every 
Friday in the narrow lane weeping and wailing, kissing 
the stones which surround their fathers' sanctuary, 
and reciting prayers, psalms, and the prophecies of 


Thence the wall runs north till it reaches the angle 
north-west of the area, the crest of the ridge, and where 
we suppose the great fortress of Antonia to have stood, 
guarding the Temple on this, its only accessible side, 
where the Palace of the Turkish Governor now stands. 
It is founded on a crown of rock, twenty feet above the 
level of the Temple platform, and has a conspicuous 
share in the history of the siege by Titus. 

Kunning due east from the fortress by St. Stephen's 
Gate to the Kedron, has been discovered, filled in with 
rubbish, another valley, not at all visible on the modern 
surface, which divides Bezetha from Moriah. Across this 
valley was constructed the enormous Pool of Bethesda, 
now called Birket Israil, and which, fi-om its being 
carefully cemented, was evidently constructed as a vast 
reservoir. It is 360 feet long, 130 broad, and 85 deep ; 
the Sanctuary wall rising immediately on its south side, 
and having there a height of 100 feet. It communicates 
with two subterranean channels westward, by which it 
was supplied with water. It is easy to see how greatly 
this reservoir added to the northern defence of the 
Temple. Traces have been found of the piers which 
suj:)ported the arcades, under which the sick folk must 
have sat, waiting for the movement of the waters. 

We have thus traced the outline of the platform. It 
only remains to observe that, beside the Great Dome 
over the central rock, there is a vast pile of building at 
the south-west angle of the area, called now the Mosque 
el Aksa, and where some would fix the site of Solomon's 
Temple, regardless of the fact that this is on an artificial 
platform, at the corner of Mount Moriah. It appears 
to liave been a Christian church, built by Justinian, in 
honour of the Virgin, and i« described by Procopius. 
It was used by the Khalif Omar, after he took Jerusalem, 
us a place of prayer, but afterwards was allowed to fall 
into decay, and was almost rebuilt ])y the Saracens. 


Duiiiig the Crusading kingdom it gave its name to the 
knights who held it, thence called the Knights Templars, 
who added a fine Transition IS^orman porch. It is 272 
feet long by 184 wide, supported by forty-three columns, 
of every variety of marble and style, supplied, doubtless, 
from the wreck of previous buildings. It has a noble 
dome and several smaller chapels or mosques attached. 
To the east of El Aksa is a smaller mosque, called, 


strangely enough, by the Moslems, the Mosque of Jesus ; 
and under it is a crypt, in the middle of which is a stone 
niche, sculptured like a sarcophagus, and shown with 
great reverence as the cradle of Jesus. 

This crypt opens into some of the other spacious 
vaults, which, tier over tier, occupy the subterranean 
recesses beneath the platform. The capitals of the columns 
are often highly ornamented and beautifully carved, and 



attestj by their patterns and workmanship, their Phoeni- 
cian or Solomonic origin. 

Sir C. Warren is inclined to place the site of the 
great altar a little to the south-east of the Dome of the 
Rock, and what is called the Dome of the Roll, because, 
immediately below this, he has found vast tanks, with 
a very complete system of drainage and sluices, so that 
water was brought into the tank immediately below, 
which communicates by a perforation, supposed to be 
behind the altar, with the surface, and then, by sluicing, 
all the offal and blood could be carried by a hidden 
tunnel far down the Kedron Yalley. His arguments, 
which seem satisfactory, are quite in accordance with the 
general plan here laid down. 

Solomon's Porch (John x. 23, etc.) was a magnifi- 
cent cloister, running along the whole east wall of the 
area by the Golden Gate, and commanding a noble 
view of the Kedron Valley, and the Mount of Olives 


The Water supply of Jerusalem was mdst elaborate, 
and its examination reveals most to us of the old 
Jerusalem of David and Solomon. What the cloaca 
7>iax'mia is to Rome — the i-ecord and relic of her earlier 
kings — that the conduits are to the capital of Israel. 
Tacitus, the Roman historian, speaks of Jerusalem as 
a fountain of never-failing waters and as mountains 
hollowed beneath the surface into cisterns. The supply 
was threefold : frohi springs, tanks, and aqueducts. 
The suj)p]y culminated under Mount Moriah, into which, 
to this day, the lowei' of the three aqueducts from 
Solomon's Pools, already described (p. 95), still conveys 
fi never-failing stieam. The pr()l)able supply from Kkph^ 
Lifta, has also been noticed (]». 151). 


Thon tliere was the Pool of (Slhon, just to the south 
of the Jaii'a road, now the Birket Mamilla. Here 
Solomon was anointed king, when *' Zadok the priest 
and Nathan the prophet caused Solomon to ride upon 
King David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. And 
Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the taber- 
nacle, and anointed Solomon" (1 Kings i. 38, 39). It 
is spoken of by Isaiah, who went forth to meet Ahaz 
" at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the 
highway of the fuller's field" (cli. vii. 3). Here, too, 
Rabshakeh stood, when he delivered the insolent message 
of his master, the King of Assyria. We read also that 
*' Hezekiah stopped the upper watercourse " (?*. e. the 
outflow of the waters)"" of Gihon, and brought it straight 
down to the west side of the city of David" (2 Ohron. 
xxxii. 30). 

The lower Pool of Gihou is also mentioned by Isaiah : 
*' Ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool " 
(cli. xxxii. 9). This pool is also seen still — a vast 
reservoir, Birket Sultan — on the west side of the Valley 
of Hinnom, west of the City of David. 

There is also another great reservoir, the Pool of 
llezekiah or of the Patriarchs, within the city, in Akra, 
fed by the upper conduit from the upper Pool of Gihon, 
and which Sir C. Warren considers to be the lower 
Gihon. This Pool of Hezekiah seems to be alluded to 
in 2 Chron. xxxii. 3, 4, where we read that, in expect- 
ation of the siege by Sennacherib, Hezekiah " took 
counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop 
the waters of the fountains, w^hich were without the 
city. So there was gathered much people together, 
who stopped all the fountains and the brook that ran 
through the midst of the land, saying, Why should 
the King of Assyria come, and find much water ] " 
Now this reservoir, which measures 240 by 150 feet, 
is, to this day, fed from the upper Pool of Gihon. 


As Hezekiah made a pool and a conduit, and brought 
water into the west side of the City of David, we can 
scarcely doubt that here we have his work existing to 
this day. 

Within the city we find everywhere a labyrinth of 
conduits and a maze of cisterns, almost as extensive 
as those mentioned beneath the Temple. 

Then, as has been noted in speaking of Robinson's 
Arch, there has been discovered^ running in a channel, 
buried under a depth of from 50 to 115 feet of rubbish, 
an uninterrupted flow of SAveet water ; in fact, the rivu- 
let that once washed out the channel between Zion and 
Moiiah, ere Jerusalem was a city. 

The two most interesting and historical fountains are 
those of the Virgin, now proved to be En-l\0(jel, on 
the east side of Ophel, and that of Siloam, on the 
south extremity of Ophel. These are both fed by 
subterranean aqueducts ; and a most extraordinary 
channel has been discovered between them, which has 
caves connected with it, in which are relics, proving 
them to have been places of refuge during the sieges of 
Jerusalem : cooking dishes, water jars, lamps, and even 
a little heap of charcoal have been found here. 

This Fountain of the Virgin, En-Jioyel, is intermittent 
with an irregular flow, the water rushing down to it at 
uncertain intervals. It was outside the wall, but close 
to it, and so protected, that it could be used by those 
within the city. The flowing of the water generally 
l»aj)pens two or three times a day, though, in summer, 
sometimes only once in two or three days. There are 
several such fountains in Syria. It seems to be the 
same as tlie Kiity's /*(>ol (Ncli. ii. 14). l^ho water 
springs uj) at tlie Ijottom of an artificial cave, 25 feet 
deep, to wliich wo descend by steps, iirst into an outer 
grotto, thence into an inner chamber with a gravelly 
bottom. From hence it flows on by its hidden channel 




to Siloam, and at the otlier side is connected with the 
vast cisterns beneath the Temple. 


•Siloam, though not the largest, is the most famous 
and hallowed of the pools of Jerusalem. It is referred 
to as peculiarly sacred by Isaiah ; and Jewish writers 
tell us that, on the last and great day of the Feast of 
Tabernacles, the water to be poured over the sacrifice 


was brought with great ceremony by the Levitc?, in 
grand procession, to the Temple, from Siloani, in 
commemoration of the waters flowing from the lock 
of Rephidim. To this ceremony our Lord alluded ; 
and to Siloam's Pool He may have pointed when, on 
that great day. He stood and cried, "If any man 
thirst, let him come unto Me and 'drink." The ex- 
pression of Isaiah, " the watei'S of Shiloah that go 
softly," has a further reference to the gentle, steady- 
flowing stream, which passed from Siloam by the King's 
Gardens, down the Valley of the Kedron, the richest 
and most fertile suburb of Jeiusalem, and which owed 
its freshness to the perennial moisture from '' cool 
Siloam's shady rill." 

Though Jerusalem has long since shrunk from its 
old boundaries, we know that Shiloah was anciently 
])y the city wall (Neh. iii. 15). It is now two connected 
basins, dilapidated and ruinous, to which we descend 
by broken steps, surrounded by crumbling masonry. 
The inner pool is a small rock-hewn cave, only six feet 
wide, into which the water regularly runs through a 
subterranean channel. Hence it pours foi-th into the 
larger reservoir, about 50 feet long, and less than 20 
wide. A few broken columns, still standing, show that, 
like most other Eastern tanks, it was once shaded by 
an arcaded building. At that time it must have been 
near 20 feet deep ; but the dam has long since been 
broken down, and it does not now contain more than 
three or four feet of water. The edge of the old struc- 
tures can 1)6 traced, where the blind man may have 
stood as he stooped to wash his eyes in the i)ool. From 
tin's deep reservoir the waters woi'o i^ent forth to water 
the garden l)elow ; and many old commentators observe 
the allegorical i)arallel between the One nent to give life 
and the waters sent to quicken the earth, as also b(»tween 
the waters *' flowing softly " and J lira who should "not 


cvj, nor lift np, nor cause His voico to l)o lioavcl in the 

We are quite certain tlie spot is the same. The 
name has come down to us unchanged in the language 
of the country. An old ti'aveller, four hundi-ed years 
ago, describes this bath as surrounded by walls and 
buttresses like a cloister, and the arches supported by 
marble pillars, the remains of which have been men- 
tioned. But now this is gone. " The present pool is 
a ruin, with no moss or ivy to make it romantic ; 
its sides falling in ; its pillars broken ; its stairs a 
fragment ; its walls giving way ; the edge of every 
stone worn round or sharp by time ; in some parts 
mere debris ; once Siloam, now, like the city which 
overhung it, a heap ; though around its edges wild- 
flowers, and among other plants, the caper-tree, grow 
luxuriantly." Besides the caper, or Jiyssoj) of Scripture 
— the plant which brightens many an otherwise arid 
spot and hangs in dark, green tufts from the walls of 
Jerusalem — the sides of the inner pool are almost 
clothed with the lovely fronds of the maidenhair fern, 
that most beautiful oi'nament of every well and pool in 

Reference has already been made to the subterranean 
channel which supplies the water to the Pool of Siloam 
from the Virgin's Well (Ain Umm el'Deraj). In 1880 
a most important discovery was made in this tunnel of 
an inscription, about 20 feet above the exit of the water 
into the pool, which records the completion of the 
tunnel. This inscription, which is almost perfect, is in 
archaic Hebrew, and has been thus translated by 
Professor Sayce : "Behold the excavation ! Now this 
had been the history of the excavation. While the 
workmen were still lifting up the axe, each towards his 
neighbour, and while three cubits still remained to cut 
through, each heard the voice of the other, who called 


to his neighbour, since there was an excess in the rock 
on the right hand and on the left ; and on the day of 
the excavation the workmen struck, each to meet his 
neighbour, axe against axe, and then flowed the waters 
from the spring to the pool for 1200 cubits, and . . . 
of a cubit w^as the height of the rock over the head of 
the workmen." It is curious that, unlike almost all 
other ancient inscriptions, we have neither the king nor 
the architect mentioned by name. The upper part of 
the tablet is bare, and the part covered by the inscription 
is below the water-line. Probably, therefore, the inscrip- 
tion was cut by the engineer secretly, he not having 
been allowed otherwise to commemorate his work. The 
date, therefore, can only be judged of approximately by 
the foim of the letters used. These are of the most 
archaic type. They cannot be later than the time of 
Hezekiah, and may be as * old as Solomon. Professor 
Sayce inclines very decidedly to the earlier date. At 
any rate, we have here not only a work belonging 
undoubtedly to the period of the Jewish monarchy, but 
we have tlie very earliest .Hebrew inscription ever 
found, a contemporaneous specimen of the language of 
th(^ Old Testament, written in the ancient form of the 
Phcpnician alphabet already known to us from the 
Moabite Stone and a few legends on seals. But 
the form of the alphabet belongs to a period even older 
tlian the Moal)ite Stone ; and, as Moab must liave 
obtaincul its alphabet from Phcenicia through Judali, 
we can liardly escape the conchision that this inscrip- 
tion must he of an earlier period, which would 
})ring it back to the constructive epocli of Solomon. 
To))()gra])hi(';illy, tlio inscription reveals notliing, but 
mctrologically, Professor Sayce infers that tlic cubit 
may bo takt^n rougldy at 20J, inches. It is, however, 
eapeciiilly vahiabh' as indicating tlie extent to wliich 
writing was known and practised among ilie Jews at 



that early epoch, while the idioms are those of the Old 
Testament of the time of the Kings. 

J list opposite the pool, on the other side of the gorge 
of the Kedron, is the straggling village of Siloam, once 
mentioned in the Gospel in connection with the fall of 
its tower, and still bearing the name of Siloam. It 


must have heen very close to Ophel in ancient times, 
and perhaps the tower that fell was the one spoken of 
by Nehemiah as an outwork: "the tower that lieth 
out." But there are now no traces of antiquity among 
its hovels, save a solitary tomb. 

Sir C. Warren has discovered an underground hidden 
channel from Siloam to Bir Eyub, 600 yards lower 
down the Valley of the Kedron. This well was long- 
supposed to be identical with En-Bogel. It is, unlike 
the others, very deep, 125 feet, and never fails. There 
have been various secret openings on the side of the 


ravine from the underground channel to this well — or 
rather channels, for there are two : one probably for 
conveying pure water, the other the sewer from the 
altar of burnt-sacrifice. Beneath this well there is 
another underground passage down the valley. At a 
spot 500 yards lower down, Sir C. \Yarren opened a 
spring; and at a depth of 12 feet a stone suddenly 
rolled away, and revealed a staircase, 25 feet deep, and 
passages at the bottom, leading north and south. These 
passages, which have been explored for a considerable 
distance, were doubtless for the purpose of leading off 
the surpliis water of Jerusalem out of the reach of an 
enemy during a siege. "Why should the king of 
Assyria come and find much water 1 " Thus Jerusalem 
was truly, as the historian describes it, " a city full of 
water within, but utterly thirsty without." 


The tombs of Jerusalem are among its most interest- 
ing memorials. Every hill and valley round it is a 
crowded cemetery, and the sepulchres far outnumber 
the houses. In the City of David, we know, were the 
tombs of David and of most of his successors. Their 
position is pointed out with some precision by Nehe- 
miah (iii. 15, 16) as between the Pool of Siloam and 
the lower Pool of Gihon, within tlie city wall. This 
exactly accords with the tradition which places them 
on the southern brow of Mount Zion, outside the 
modern walls, under the CVjenaculum, now a mosque. 
The tomb of David is said to have been plundered by 
Ifyrcanus, and afterwards by Herod. It is now 
reverenced by the Moslems as a holy place, and has 
never been examined for many ci^ituries. 

Tlie Valley of llinnom, opposite, is full of rock-hewn 
tombs ; and a little further down it is the traditional 



Acp.hlama, tJte field ofhlood, bought witli tlie price of oni- 
Lord's bc'trayal. It is a natural cave, enlarged arti- 
ticially, and strewn with bones, as it was long used as a 
common charnel-house. 

Both sides of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, or the 
Kedron, are full of tombs. Among them are four very 
conspicuous ancient buildings, called the Tombs of 
Zacliarias, of Absalom, St. James, and Jehoshaphat. 

'V"]>.:7g^^'^ *- 


There is, however no historical authority for accepting 
this tradition about any of them. Though ancient, they 
are prooably none of them older than the time of Herod : 
one of them much resembles the tombs of Petra. 

On the Mount of Olives, due east from these about a 
quarter of a mile, are a large collection of underground 
chambers, connected and forming a labyrinth of tombs, 
without inscription, and called the Tombs of the Prophets, 
There is but one entrance to the whole excavation. 



A little higher up the valley, nearly opposite the 
Golden Gate, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, is the 
Garden of Gethsemane. Its position exactly accords 
with the indication to be gathered from John xviii. 1 : 
" He went forth with them over the brook Cedron to a 
garden, where He ofttimes resorted with His disciples." 
The little plot is surrounded by a wall, and contains a 
few olive-trees of immense antiquity. 


From Gethsemane is a short but steep ascent to the 
top of tlio Moiuit of Olives, nearly 200 feet higher than 
the city, and crowned by the Church of the Ascension ; 
though it is evident that the scene of that glorious 
event nnist have been in a retired nook, nearer l>ethany, 
and out of sight of the city. 

We can hardly leave the topography of Jerusalem 
without saying a word on a point wliich has, for years, 
exercised the ingenuity of historians, arcluvologista, and 


divines, the site of the Crucifixion and of the Holy 
Sepulchre. On this point I cannot but endorse the views 
of Lt.-Col. Conder, who has ably summed up the 
arguments for and against what is' called the traditional 
site. If the Church of the Holy Sepulchre be within 
the second wall of the city, it cannot have been the 
scene of the crucifixion of Him who suffered without the 
gate. It is true, we have not yet discovered the founda- 
tion of the second wall at this part of its course, but 
Josephus tells us, that it took its beginning from the 
Gate Gennath, which, as we have seen, was close to the 
Tower of Hippicus, Thence, it had encircled the north 
quarter of the city, i. e. Akra, and reached as far as the 
Tower of Antonia. This must mean that, starting from 
the first wall, it enclosed the lower part of the city, ter- 
minating at the north-west corner of the Temple. Now, 
a deep valley separates the upper city from Akra, and a 
second valley runs southward on the west side of the 
upper hill. It is impossible to conceive, from a military 
point of view, that the wall of the fortress should have 
been built in a deep valley, commanded by high ground 
outside. The officers of the survey have tapped the rock 
in every part of Jerusalem, and we possess a perfect 
contour map of the natural surface of the ground. It 
would not be possible to bring the wall within the site 
of the " Church of the Sepulchre," unless it were in the 
valley, for the Church stands on the knoll which would, 
in that case, have commanded the wall. 

As Lt.-Col. Conder says : "The military consider- 
ation seems to set the matter at rest, and to state the 
matter in a nutshell : fortresses stand on hills, not in deep 
ravines." If, then, the study of the rock drives us irre- 
sistibly to decline to accept the traditional site, where 
was it 1 Though the expression, " suifered without the 
gate," is enough to condemn the miraculously discovered 
fourth century site, it affords the clue to the true posi- 


tion. But we have one indication. It was near the tomb 
of Joseph of Arimathea, which was in a garden. It 
could not have been one of the Kok'mi of earlier times, 
where the body lay in niches with the feet outwards, 
but one of the later kind, in which it lay in a rock 
sarcophagus, under a rock arch, parallel with the side of 
the chamber. 

In our Lord's time, the great cemetery w^as in the 
gardens outside the city on either side of the great north 
road, where are the tombs of Simon the Just, Queen 
Helena, and many others. On this road, also, just outside 
the Damascus Gate, we know, by unanimous tradition, 
was the public place of execution, i. e. Calvary, or 
Golgotha. Here is a knoll, still called by the Jews 
Beth-hath-Sekilah, the "place of stone." The place is 
barren and dusty, surrounded by stony ground and by 
heaps of rubbish. This I believe to be Calvary. It is still 
a Moslem cemetery, and in close proximity are several 
tombs, of the later Jewish type, with gardens and olive- 
yards. One of these tombs, not far distant, was pointed 
out by Lt.-Col. Conder, as, possibly, that of Joseph of 
Arimathea. But, subsequently, the clearing away of the 
debris at the foot of the steep south-western side of the 
mound, revealed another tomb, hewn in the face of the 
rock, with a single rock sarcophagus hewn in the rock, 
at the further side, parallel to the entrance, the now 
well-known Gordon's tomb. 

It is needless to describe at length what are called 
the Christian anticpiities, founded chielly on monkish 
legends, as the Cliurch and Tomb of St. Ann, and that 
of Ht. Mary, just outside the Gate of St. Stephen. On 
the nortli side of Jerusalem are some very interesting 
toml)s, of most elaborate structure, known now as the 
Totuhn of the Khiytt, but really tlie tomb of the proselyte 
Jewish Queen Helena ; and about a mile further on are 
the Tombs of the Jiulyes, on the road to Noby Samwil. 


They arc a vast system of excavated chambers ; but 
history does not record for or by whom tliey were hewn 
out. All these tombs illustrate Scriptural incidental 
notices. In one I have seen the stone fixed above and 
below in its rock-hewn groove, and rolling by its own 
great weight exactly in front of the doorway, so that it 
requires no ordinary effort to roll it hack ; while if an 
intruder were to attempt the feat alone, the stone roll- 
ing into its place again would secure him alive in the 
tomb, without possibility of escape. 


It is beyond our purpose to give any account of the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a vast pile of buildings, 
in the Lower City, in possession of the Christians ; and 
where, under one roof, or collection of roofs, are said 
to be crowded all the sites of the great events of our 
Lord's Passion, especially the Crucifixion and the 
Sepulchre. Whether the spot was ever without the 
walls, and, therefore^ could possibly be the true site, 
remains more than doubtful, and must do so till the 
second wall shall have been traced. The present building- 
was commenced by Constantine, on what he believed to 
be the true site, though there is no trace of a previous 
tradition on the subject, and the city had been, for 
many years after its destruction, desolate and unin- 
habited by Jew or Christian. Chosroes the Persian 
destroyed the Church of Constantine a.d. 614. It was 
soon afterwards rebuilt, but destroyed by the Khalif 
Hakim in a.d. 1010. The dome was repaired and the 
rest rebuilt in a.d. 1048. The Crusaders, who took the 
city A.D. 1099, completed, extended, and greatly en- 
riched it, and it has remained in Christian possession 
ever since. It suffered greatly from fire in a.d. 1808; 
but has been carefully restored. 



The first i-eference to the histoiy of Jerusalem is when 
its king Melchizedek went out to meet Abraham, re- 
turning fi-oni the defeat of Chedorlaomer. The Tell-el- 
Amarna tablets have cast a flood of light upon this inci- 
dental allusion. We find that it was, emphatically, a 
sacred city, undei' the name of Salem, oi' Peace, whose 
king was officially the religious chief of all the petty 
tribes in the district. He exercised a suzerainty, not 
only over the whole country, but as far as the vale of 
Sodom. This accounts for Abraham, with the King of 
Sodom, being met by him, as they were returning after the 
victoiy, probably to return thanks at Jerusalem. Several 
allusions show us, that the fortress and city of Mount 
Zion was then, and for many ages, quite distinct from 
Mount Moriah, which was as open and unenclosed in the 
time of David as it had been in the time of Abraham. 
There are many letters among the x\marna tablets, from 
Adonizedek, the King of Jerusalem, to the Pharaoh. 
In these he claims, very distinctly, to be, not an Egyptian 
governor, but a tributary ally, and moreover claims 
that he is not king by inheritance, either from father or 
mother, but through the oracle of the "mighty king," 
;. e. of the " most High God " of Melchizedek.^ In the 
Egyptian monuments, Jerusalem is invariably spoken of 
as Salem. In the cuneiform documents it is " Uru-salim," 
*' Uru " being, as we find from a Nineveh tablet, 
the equivalent, in some language, of the Babylonic 
*' Alec," a city. That language, we now know, was that 

' Tli(! expression "not oitluu- from father or mother "is noto- 
wortliy, esp(;cially wlien we recall the Apostle's statement concernin<;- 
Melcliizedek, "without father, without mother, without descent" 
(Ileh. vii. .'5), in eontrast to tin; hereditary Aaronic priesthood. AVe 
might almost imagini; tlie writt;r of the Kpistle to liave been aware 
of the historical fact, mentioned hy Adonizedek. 


of Canaan. The title "Prince of Peace," given to the 
Messiali by Isaiah, bears a covert allusion to this name. 
Thothmes III., in his list of conquests, names, before 
Eabbah and Judah, Har-El, ^. e. the mount of God, 
meaning, proba])ly, this sacred city. Adonizedek, in 
his letters to Amenhotep, laments the capture of all the 
neighbouring towns, by the Iberi (Hebrews), and finally, 
in a lettei* from Makkedah, the fall of Jerusalem itself. 

Jerusalem would seem, at this period, to have had a 
mixed population of Amorites and Ilittites, the latter 
probably a portion of the northern invaders, alluded to 
in the Egyptian records. Not only Thothmes, but 
Rameses II. and III. enumerate Salem in their list of 
captured cities. 

Up to this time, the name of Jebus does not occur ; 
it probably was a local name given to the mixed popula- 
tion. The city was taken by Joshua, as both Scripture 
and the Amarna tablets record, but Josephus makes 
a very remarkable addition to these brief notices. He 
says, that only the lower city, and not the fortress of 
the upper city, was taken ; that the attempt was 
abandoned, and that the army retired to Hebron. 

Long after this the Jebusites held the fort while the 
men of Benjamin dwelt in the city. " The Jebusites 
dwelt with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto 
this day" (Judges i. 21). This state of things continued 
until the storming of the fortress, by Joab, under David. 

The history of Jerusalem is, in fact — from the time 
of Solomon to the close of the New Testament records 
— the annals of the nation, and no concise sketch can 
be given of it in our limits. Twenty years after the 
restoration from the Babylonish Captivity by Cyrus, 
the second Temple was dedicated b.c. 516. For nearly 
two hundred years after this Jerusalem enjoyed com- 
parative liberty. The High Priest was recognized as 
the municipal chief of the State, under the Persian 



Satrap of Damascus, who never interfered in their 
domestic politics. When Alexander the Great had over- 
run the Persian Empire and conquered Darius, the 
Greeks met with a stubborn resistance in Syi'ia, both 
at Tyre and Ashkelon, both of which at length were 
taken ; and from Tyre Alexander turned to Jerusalem, 
which had refused to submit. He was met outside the 
city by the High Priest in his robes, attended by a 
crowd of priests in their vestments, and citizens clad in 
white. The Conqueror advanced to the High Priest, 
and reverently saluted the name of Jehovah on his 
mitre, saying it was not the man, but the God Whose 
priest he was. Whom he worshipped, and Who had 
appeared to him in a dream, and promised him the 
conquest of Persia. The High Priest then showed 
him the prophecies which foretold his empire ; and 
Alexander granted the Jews many valuable civic 

At Alexander's death, Jerusalem fell to the lot of 
his general, and enjoyed peace for sixty years under the 
Ptolemies of Egypt. Ptolemy Philadelphus, B.C. 285, 
had the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament in 
Greek executed at Alexandria. At length Palestine 
was wrested from the King of Egypt b}'^ the rulers of 
Syria. In b.('. 170 Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria, 
sacked Jerusalem and polluted the Temple. Two years 
afterwards his general, Apollonius, fell upon the unsus- 
pecting Jews on the Sal)bath-day, and perpetrated a 
general massacre. He forbade any Jew to approach 
the Temple : " the sacrifice and o))lation ceased ; " the 
Temple was dedicated to Jupiter, and heathen sacrifice 
offered on the altar. 

At length the priestly house of the Asmoneans or- 
ganized resistnnco. For twenty-fivo years Judas Mac- 
cabieus juid liis bretlircMi maintained Iho (lesj)orate 
struggle, in which tlio ilowor of the Syrian army fell. 


losing, it is computed, over 200,000 men. Finally, the 
]\r;iocabees succeeded ; ;ind the Jews were accustomed to 
(Into from u.d. 143 the er;i of their new indci)on(lcnce. 
Their freedom, however, was more civil and religious 
than political, tliough, at one time, the kingdom of 
Judea comprised Idumava, Galilee, Pera\», and all the 
region of Gilead and Bashan. 

In B.C. 63 Pompey, with a Roman army, advanced by 
way of Jericho against Jerusalem, besieged the Temple, 
and," after a desperate struggle, which lasted for three 
months, nt length stormed it. After examining the 
sacred places, he had the Temple purified, and abstained 
from any pillage, leaving Hyrcanus High Priest, and 
imposing a tribute. In the year B.C. 40 the Parthians 
made an inroad and captured Jerusalem, setting up 
Antigonus as Governor. Herod, whose father. Anti- 
pater, had been appointed Procurator by the Romans, but 
was afterwards murdered, now returned with a Roman 
army, and, after five months, stormed the city, but 
saved the Temple. With Antigonus fell the Asmonean 
rule ; and Herod the Great was made king by the 
Romans. His great architectural work was the rebuild- 
ing of the Temple. After the death of Herod and 
his son Archelaus' summons to Rome, Judea was made, 
A.D. 6, a Roman province. 

In A.D. 72 the Jews finally revolted ; and, after the 
famous siege by Titus, the place was utterly destroyed, 
except the three great towers of Hippicus (which still 
exist), Phasaelis, and Mariamne, and the western 

In A.D. 136 the Emperor Hadrian, after suppressing a 
desperate rebellion of the scattered Jews, ordered Jeru- 
salem to be rebuilt, under the name of jEUa Capiiolina, 
with a temple of Jupiter on the site of the Temple, and 
forbade any Jew, on pain of death, to approach the 
place. In the third century, however. Christians, who 



were partially tolerated, began to make pilgrimages to 

When Constantino established Christianity the ban 
was removed : his mother, the Empress Helena, visited 
the Holy Place, and splendid churches were erected. 

Pel Hcijcr Bridge 

To stimmiC 
of Oliret 

JIuldaK Gale. ^^^^lj_ g 


Julian the Apostate encouraged the Jews to rebuild 
their Temple ; but they were stopped, as we are told by 
contemporary historians, through miraculous interven- 
tions of Divine displeasure. 


Justinian, about a.d. 535, built the splendid Church 
of the Virgin, now the moscjue of El Aksa. 

In A.D. 614 Chosroes II., the Persian invader, took 
and almost destroyed Jerusalem ; but in a.d. 628 
Heraclius re-entered the city in procession, and all the 
damage of the Eastern hordes was i-epaired. 

The recovery was but of short duration. In a.d. 636 
the Moslem invaders, under Khalif Omar, after a 
siege of four months, compelled the city to capitulate on 
lenient terms, leaving the Christians in possession of 
their churches. 

Omar ordered the mosque to be erected on the site of 
the Jewish Temple, over the Holy Bock. 

From time to time persecutions arose, and the Khalif 
Hakim destroyed the Church of the Sepulchre in a.d. 
1010, for the third time within a century. In a.d. 1077 
Jerusalem was pillaged by the Turks, who now sup- 
planted the Khali fs. Their cruelties soon provoked the 
Crusades. In a.d. 1099 Jerusalem was taken by the 
Crusaders : Godfrey of Lorraine, Robert of Flanders, 
Robert of Normandy, Tancred and Raymond of Tou- 
louse, being their chieftains ; and Godfrey of Bouillon 
was elected King of Jerusalem. 

For eighty-eight years the city remained in the hands 
of the Christians, till retaken by Saladin in a.d. 1187. 
In the year 1229 it was surrendered by treaty to the 
Emperor Frederick. Again it was taken by the Emir 
of Kerak ten years after, and held for a short time ; but 
four years later, a.d. 1243, the Christians were finally 
driven out, after the defeat of Gaza. Since then it has 
remained under the iron rule of the Moslems, Egyptian 
or Turkish, trodden down of the Gentiles — How long ! 
Lord, how long ] 




youtliern frontier of Ephraim — Mount Epliraini— Its natural strength — Richftess 
of the territory — Cities of Epliraim — Atarotli-addar — Gezer — Hazor — Ncbal^ 
lat — Shiloh — ^t'dua — Desolation — History — Eli — Samuel — liebunah— Plain 
of Sliechcm — El Mokhaa — Ebal — Gerizim — 'Atcertah — Tomb of Phinehas — 
Slieclicin — N((hloi'.% — Oak of Moreh — Parable of Jotham — Samaritan woi'ship 
— Sychar— Mount Zalmon — Temple on Mount Gerizim — Samaritan Passover 
^Samaritan Pentateuch — Jacob's Well — Joseph's Tomb — Shalem — Sa/im 
— iEnon — Aruraah — Janohah — Kin-ii Si'.rtabdi — The great Altar of 'Ed^Tap- 
})uah — Atilf — River Kanah — Pirathon — Tirzah — Tuliim — Thebez — TUbuis — 
Asher — Ytmr — Succoth. 

Adjoining Benjamin, and approaching within a few 
miles of the capital city of the southern kingdom of 
Judah, was the frontier of Ephraim, from the very 
earliest times the leader and centre of the northern con- 
federation. The possessions of Ephraim stretched across 
Western Palestine, from the Jordan* Valley, where it 
was conterminous with the northern boundary of 
Benjamin, to the passes of Betli-horon, whence it was 
conterminous with the tribe of Dan as far as the sea, 
just below the ancient city Ciesarea. Its northern 
frontier is much less clearly defined. The possessions 
of Ephraim and her sister tribe of Manasseh seem to 
have been very much intermingled on this side, only 
that, for tlio most part, Manasseh lay northward and 
Ephraim southward. 

Another ditlicully, in examining systematically the 
territory of Ephraim, is that, in the case of tliis tribe 
alone, we have no regular catalogue of the cities assigned 
t(3 it ; we can only depend upon tlu; boundary-line laid 
down, for its limits, and to subse(pient incidental 

EPHllAIM 215 

mention of its towns, to ascertain what cities Ephraim 
possessed. As many of these never occur in history, we 
find the whole district studded with existing villages 
and ruined sites, the vernacular names of which tell 
their Hebrew derivation, but of which we have no 
record in sacred history. 

The central hill country of Palestine is often spoken 
of as ^^ Mount EpJiraimJ' an expression which com- 
prises all the hilly region from within a few miles north 
of Jerusalem at Bethel, as far as the Plain of Esdraelon, 
including, therefore, the whole of the west allotment 
of Manasseh Mount Ephraim was to the northern 
country what the hill country of Judah was to the 
southern — the backbone, centre, and strength of the 
nation. Like the hill country of Judah, and vinlike 
the possessions of the northern tribes by Esdraelon, or 
the western ones by the coast, it was inaccessible to 
invaders, who were not prepared for the risks of moun- 
tain defiles and the storming of hill forts. Its military 
topography is such, that it is defensible at every turn, 
and nothing but a panic could disorganize the defence 
of such a region. Thus the tribe of Manasseh was 
charged by the High Priest "to keep the passages of 
the hill country, for by them there was an entrance 
into Judea ; and it was easy to stop them that would 
come up, because the passage was strait for two men at 
the most " (Judith iv. 7). 

. But there is a great difference in the appearance of 
the country of Ephraim and of Judah. The hills are 
much less regular and monotonous ; the ridges do not 
run so regularly east and west. There are many wide 
upland plains in the very heart of the mountains ; 
above all, there are everywhere abundant springs, and, 
consequently, luxuriant vegetation. Very appropriately, 
then, while the strength of Judah was typified by the 
lion of the dry and arid south, that of Ephraim is 


illustrated by the mighty bison (a. v., unicorn) of the 
forest. "Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the 
precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the 
deej) that coucheth beneath; and for the precious fruits 
brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things 
put forth by the moon ; and for the chief things of the 
ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the 
lasting hills ; and for the precious things of the earth 
and fulness thereof. . . . His glory is like the firstling 
of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of a 
bison (or aurochs, a. v., unicorns) : with them he shall 
push the people together to the ends of the earth: and 
they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are 
the thousands of Manasseh " (Deut. xxxiii. 13 — 17). 

The southern frontier of Ephraim may be traced with 
tolerable accuracy, commencing from close to Jericho, 
^^ tJie tcater of Jericho" (Josh. xvi. 1), i.e. the stream, 
probably from the upper fountains of Ain Diik, by the 
" wilderness," i. e. bare pastoral land, of Bethaven, east 
of Bethel. Thence it passed close to Bethel and the 
town of Luz. whence we see how easily Bethel, though, 
strictly speaking, in Benjamin, became the frontier city 
of the kingdom of Israel. Thence the line was by 
Archij AtarotJi-addar, Japhleti, to Jkth-horon, Gezei\ and 
the sea (Josh. xvi. 2). By the subsequent recapitulation 
it would seem to be drawn from Jericho by Xaarath^ 
Ataroth, Janohah, to lleth-liorou. 

Of Arclii we have no further mention, except as the 
native place of David's friend Hushai (2 Sam. xv. 32). 
It has been satisfactorily identified with the village now 
called 'Ain 'Arik, exactly in the re(iuired position, 
between Bc^thel and Bctli-horon. Proceeding onward 
we reach the village of Tin-h, tlie ancient Af(iroi/t-<(d(/<(r, 
"near the hill that lieth on the south side of tlic nether 

A small ruin at DArit'li, a mile southwest of Beth- 

EPIIllAIM 2 1 7 

lioroii, is })i'eferi'od by Conder, tlio etymology more 
closely representing the Hebrew. 

Naarath {Naaran — 1 Cliron. vii. 28) was lower down 
the wady than Ataroth. Though no ruins preserve the 
name, it still possibly exists in the Wady Na'imeh — 
the name of the ravine of Jericho — and which would 
be the natural frontier line. Lt.-Col. Conder prefers El 
Aujeh, close to the north of this. Of JwpJdetl, the next 
mai-k to nether Beth-horon on the frontier, no trace 
has been found. Beth-horon has been already noticed 
under Benjamin, 

Near the two Beth-horons was Uzzen-sheraJi (1 Chron. 
vii. 14), three miles south-west of the lower Beth-horon ; 
the name of which is preserved in Beit-Sira. It was the 
extreme south point of Ephraim, two miles south-west of 
the lower Beth-horon. 

From Beth-horon the line ran by Gezer to the sea, /. e. 
across the Plain of Shai-on, where it abutted on the 
tribe of Dan. Gezer, lying near the plain, is frequently 
mentioned in history. It is found in the list of the con- 
quests of Thothmes III. It is repeatedly referred to in 
the letters of Tell Amarna. One of these from Adoni- 
zedek, King of Jerusalem, tells of its capture by the 
Iberi (Hebrews). Another from Japhia, its king, men- 
tions the same fact. Japhia is the name in Joshua of 
the King of Lachish. Possibly it was a dependency of 
Lachish. Gezer was a city of the Kohathite Levites, 
but seems to have remained in the hands of the Canaan- 
ites, owing to its proximity to the Philistines ; for we 
read (1 Kings ix. 16) that the King of Egypt had taken 
it, and gave it as a present to his daughter, the queen of 
Holomon, Solomon at once rebuilt and fortified it. Its 
king, Horam, had been slain by Joshua, when he came 
to aid Lachish ; but the subjection can have been only 
temporary, though it paid tribute to Ephraim (Josh. xvi. 
10). At Gezer David's pursuit of the Philistines ended 


(2 Sam. V. 25), as they were here in a friendly country. 
It appears to be the same as Goh (2 Sam. xxi. 18, 19, and 
1 Chron. xx. 6). 

Gezer reappears under the name of Gazara, in the 
history of the wars of the Maccabees, held sometimes by 
the Jews, sometimes by the Syrians. John Hyrcanus 
made it his military residence. Eusebius tells us it was 
four Eoman miles from Emmaus Nicopolis (the modern 
Amwas). It is frequently mentioned in Crusading his- 
tory as Mons Gisardus (Mont Gisart), and gave its name 
to one of the noble familes of the Latin kingdom of 
Jei'usalem. M. Ganneau has recently re-discovered it in 
the Tell el Jezer, where the ruins of a large city occupy 
the plateau on the summit of a hill, with a number of 
rock-hewn tombs, and the remains of an aqueduct, exactly 
four Roman miles from Amwas. It was the extreme 
southern point of the old territory of Ephraim. Situated 
on the swell of the low hills, it forms a conspicuous 
object from the Jerusalem and Joppa road. On the 
rock have been found deeply chiselled the old Hebrew 
characters for Gezer, marking out the boundaries of 
the Levitical city. Though the name of Gezer has 
been lost to topographers for ages, the Arabic equiva- 
lent, Jezer, has been found still to remain among the 

In the neighbourhood is Beit Nebala, Xehallat (Neh. 
xi. 34), 3j, miles north-east of Lydda, occupied after the 
Captivity by Benjamin, as was also Jhizor {ibid. ver. 
33), Tell-Hazilr, which is evidently within the old lines 
of Ephraiin. 

Kibzaim, another frontier city and assigned to the 
Kohathite Levites, is probably idcnticiil with Jokmeam (1 
Chron. vi. G8). Lt.-Col. Condor suggests it may be repre- 
sented by Tell ol Kabus, between Jerusalem and Micli- 
mash, but the situation seems too far to the oast to suit 
the context. 

Kl'llUAlM 210 

Entering within the limits of Ephraim, we soon come 
to Shiloli, now Scilun, '' on the north side of Bethel, on 
the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel 
to Sheehem, and on the south of Lebonah " (Judg. xxi. 
19). It is about twelve miles north of Bethel. It com- 
mands an important pass to the south, and is probably 
the Zilun mentioned in the Amarna tablets as having 
been taken by the Hebrews before they advanced to 
Beth-horon. The features of the country are still rather 
those of Benjamin than of Ephraim. There is a bold 
knoll, rocky and irregular, strewn with a mass of shape- 
less ruins, with large hewn stones occasionally marking 
.the site of ancient walls. It is surrounded by other 
higher hills, except towards the south, where opens a 
very narrow valley. Inhabitants there are none. The 
very mosque, once a church, is now a ruin, by which 
towers a large, gnarled old terebinth, the solitary tree of 
the district. There is one square ruin, probably a 
mediaival fortress-church, and a few broken Corinthian 
columns strewn about. There is not a relic to be found 
of the old Israelitish sanctuary among all the wasted stone 
heaps which crowd the broken terraces. The house of 
the Ark of God, the home of Eli and Samuel, is utterly 
destroyed. "Go ye now unto My place, which was in 
Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what 
I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel" 
(Jer. vii. 12). 

We cannnot stand on Shiloh without an oppressive 
sense of its God-forsaken desolation. Scarcely a tree, 
not a dwelling is in sight : straggling valleys, too open 
to be termed glens, within an amphitheatre of dreary, 
round-topped hills, bare and rocky, without being pic- 
turesque, are the only characteristics of this featureless 
scene. What, then, was the cause of the honour put 
upon Shiloh, by its selection to be the religious centre 
o f Israel through so many generations, and the gather- 


ing-place, where the land was allotted to the tribes by 
Joshua 1 One reason may be found in this very natural 
unattractiveness — a protest against the idolatry of the 
people of the land — which selected every high hill, and 
every noble grove, as the special home of their gods : 
here was neither commanding peak nor majestic cedar, 
neither deep glen nor gushing fountain. Moreover, it 
was a central point for all Israel, equidistant from north 
to south, easily accessible to the trans-Jordanic tribes, 
and in the heart of that hill country which Joshvia first 
subdued, and which remained to the end of Israel's 
history the district least exposed to invaders. 

In its desolation, what a crowd of hallowed memories- 
rush in as we gaze on the Hill of Shiloh, once the place 
of the tent He pitched among men. It was during the 
life of Joshua that the tabernacle was set up here (Josh. 
xviii. 1). Here, ''before the Lord," Joshua cast lots, 
when the whole congregation of Israel had assembled, 
for the partition of the remaining portion of the land 
among the seven tribes who were not yet located, i. e. 
all except Judah and Joseph and the tribes east of 
Jordan (Josh, xviii. 10). 

The annual feast of the Lord was kept at Shiloh ; and 
when, for the crime of the Gibeonites, forty years after 
Joshua, the tribe of Benjamin had been almost exter- 
minated, the people were in a dilemma, unwilling to 
break the vow they had made, not to give their 
daugliters to a Benjamite. An escape was suggested, 
by permitting them to steal wives for themselves of the 
daughters of Shiloh, when they came to dance in the 
fields ; and they carried aw.ay two hundred of them to 
bo tlieir wives (Judg. xxi.). 

About half a mile from the site is a, copious fountain, 
in a narrow valley, with a large reservoir for watering 
cattle, secluded from the town, which was probably the 
scene ol" the event, so like the lloman rape of the 


Sabines. It is the only fountain near, and must be 
that which supplied water for the use of the sanctuary. 

It was at Shiloh, too, that Hannah " in bitterness of 
soul prayed unto the Lord" that she might have a 
son; and vowed ''to give him unto the Lord all the 
days of his life." So soon as Samuel was weaned, she 
" lent him to the Lord " and " brought him unto the 
house of the Lord in Shiloh ; and the child did minister 
unto the Lord before Eli the priest" (1 Sam. ii. 11). 
Here the youthful Samuel was brought up ; here the 
Lord appeared to him, charged him with a warning to 
Eli, and called him to the prophetic office. 

For three hundred years the Ark had remained at 
Shiloh, till the godless sons of Eli, having carried it into 
battle against the Philistines in the vain hope of 
securing the Divine protection, were slain ; and Eli fell 
back and broke his neck at the sad news. The Jews 
still point out by tradition the tombs in the rocks near 
the fountain where Eli and his sons were buried. 

With the loss of the Ark the glories of Shiloh de- 
parted. It sank into insignificance, and is only once 
mentioned in after history as the residence of the 
prophet Ahijah (1 Kings xiv.). In the fourth century, 
St. Jerome tells us, it was utterly desolate. 

To the north-west of Shiloh, as described in Judges, 
at a distance of less than three miles, is the grey, 
venerable village of Lubban, Lehonah (Judg. xxi. 19), 
high on the hill, with a large ruined khan and a gushing 
fountain in the plain beneath it. To the north-east of 
Shiloh is the Corem of Josephus, now Kuriyut. 

There are no places of historic note from Shiloh, till, 
proceeding northward, we enter the Plain of Shechem, 
now El Mokhna, a long, level, and most fertile tract, 
with scattered olive-trees, sti^aggling here and there, 
among the unfenced stretch of corn-land : those very 
harvest-fields on which our Lord, wearied with the 


walk over the sultry plain, bid His disciples lift np 
their eyes, as He sat by Jacob's Well. 

Near the entrance of the Plain of Shechem, about one 
and a half miles east of the road, is the village of 
'Awertah, interesting as being the traditional burying- 
place of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, and of Phinehas. 
Just before reaching the village, adjoining a small mosque, 
is an enclosure, shaded by a noble terebinth tree, and con- 
taining a whited tomb, about five feet high, said to be 
that of Eleazar, and known as El 'Azeir. Close to the 
village on the other side is a courtyard, surrounded by an 
arcade, apparently very ancient, called El 'Azeirat, and 
in it the tomb of Phinehas. 'Awertah is probably " tJte 
hill of Giheah of Phinehas'' (Josh. xxiv. 33). The place 
is an object of great reverence both to Jews and 
Samaritans. The tombs of Ithamar and Abishuah are 
supposed to exist in the neighbourhood. 

Exactly in an opposite direction, five miles due west 
of the entrance to El Mokhna, Khirbet Tafsah marks 
the site of Tijyhsah, the scene of the hideous cruelty of 
the usurper Menahem(2 Kings xv. 16). 

Sliiloh, though for three hundred years the sanctuary, 
was never the capital of Ephraim. It was in a more 
permanent home that the chiefs of the nation took up 
their final abode. The western s-ide of the Plain of 
Shechem, El Mokhna, is bounded by the abutments of 
two mountain ranges, running from east to west. These 
ranges are J^Jhal and Gerlzhn. Exactly opposite Jacob's 
Well is the opening between them. A mile and a half 
beyond the well, Jind out of sight of the plain, is Nablous, 
the modern Shechem^ called by an old writer the boss or 
navel of Israel. Round this spot the story of the tribe 
of Joseph revolves, CoographicMlly iind historicjilly wo 
:iio hero in the central spot of the Jloly Land. Tlie long 
])}ickbone of Palestine — its bisecting mountain range — 
is here suddenly cleft in twain, and a (Uu'p valley, in 


places scarcely more than 500 yards wide, is sunk 
ISOO feet below the enclosing mountiiins of VA)ii\ to the 
north, and Oerizim to the south. Their sides are very 
steep, and many a cavern is worn in the soft limestone 
ridges, while countless streams gush forth, chiefly from 
the southern mountain, rendering the little valley a 
perennial centre of life and verdure. 

So exactly, too, is Shechem in the centre, between 
east and west, that the streams, which burst forth 
copiously from springs within its walls, run from the 
east gate down to the Jordan ; and those which dash 
over the pavements, at the west end of the town, 
find their way through the Plain of Sharon to the 

A site so fair and lovely, invited, like Damascus, by 
its many waters, the earliest settlement of mankind : 
destined by nature to be a city, in which man, wherever 
he exists at all, is sure to congregate. As old as 
Damascus and Hebron, older than any other known 
city of Syria, Shechem was a city while Abram yet 
tarried in Chaldsea. It is the artery through which 
all commerce between north and south must pass. The 
city is spread out in line along the valley, pleasingly 
broken by groups of dark orange-trees and occasional 
palm-trees. It leans on Gerizim, and rather avoids 
Ebal, along the southern edge of which is a narrow 
level strip of ancient olive-trees, and rich green turf. 
The sides of Ebal are clad with smooth prickly-pear. 
Gerizim, facing north, seems more bare and scarped : 
caves and springs diversify its face. Up the little 
wadys, or nullahs, which furrow its sides, rich fruit- 
orchards of orange, almond, pomegranate, peach, and 
fig-trees climb, till the rocks are too bare to support 
them ; and on the highest brow, on the north-east 
corner, is the little Moslem chapel, which crowns the 
ruins of the Samaritan temple. 

EPIlllAIM 225 

The history of Shechem first dawns when Abraham 
made his first encampment in the Land of Promise, 
under the terebinth of Moreh, at Shechem. " The 
Canaanite was then in the land," when the Father of 
the Faithful, under the shade of that tree, erected the 
first altar ever raised in that land to the honour of 
Jehovah ; and the pledge that his seed should possess 
it was renewed to him (Gen. xii. 6). It was from' 
Hamor the Hivite, the sheikh of the district, that Jacob 
purchased the plot of land at the opening of the plain, 
where he sunk his well. Soon afterwards occurred the 
defilment of Dinah and the vengeance taken on the 
men of Shechem by his sons Simeon and Levi for their 
sister's dishonour. Under Abraham's terebinth Jacob 
buried the images and idolatrous charms which his 
family had brought from Padan-aram. When the 
Patriarch was at Hebron, his sons returned with their 
flocks to Shechem, whither Joseph was sent to inquire 
after their welfare. The piece of ground was bequeathed 
by Jacob to his son Joseph, whose embalmed body was 
laid by his descendants, under Joshua, in his patrimonial 
plot (Josh. xxiv. 32)i 

Li the allotment of the tribes, Shechem fell to 
Ephraim, but was assigned to the Levites as a city of 
refuge. Here was held the grand national gathering, 
when Israel took final possession of the Land of Promise, 
The position is exactly adapted for that scene, where, 
between the eastern end of the modern town and the 
mouth of the valley by Jacob's Well, Joshua and the 
princes of the tribes were gathered in the centre of the 
valley, the priests and Levites and other chiefs arranged 
in ranks, rising tier above tier, on the sides of Ebal 
and Gerizim ; while the ample plain would afford space 
for all the multitude of the nation — the furthest being 
in sight, if not in hearing. Just before the valley opens 
on the plain, there exist, exactly facing each other, two 


natural recesses, formed like amphitheatres, at the base 
of both Ebal and Gerizim, where the leaders of the 
people were gathered, and where they led the loud 
echoing responses to the curses proclaimed on one side 
and to the blessings on the other. 

Here, too, Joshua gathered his people for his dying 
farewell (Josh. xxiv. 1). Here, under Abraham's Oak, 
he set up the altar of witness. 

These two natural recesses exactly face each other — • 
one under Gerizim, the other^ under Ebal. The former 
is walled in, a holy place of the Moslems, and is known 
by the name of El Amud, "the pillar." Now it was by 
the oak, or oak grove of Shechem, that Joshua set up 
the pillar for a memorial (ch. xxiv. 26). Thus we have 
the oak, the pillar, and the sanctuary all brought to- 
gether, and inside the enclosure a column still stands. 
The Samaritans inherited this holy place and its tradi- 
tions from the Israelites, and retained it down to the 
fourth century after Christ, when Epiphanius writes: 
"There is also at Sichem, which is now called Neapolis, 
a place of a Proseucha (praying-place) outside the city, 
resembling a theatre, situated two miles from the city, 
which the Samaritans, who imitate tlie Jews in all 
things, have built in an open court." The Samaritans, 
though now shut out from it, still regard the spot with 

It may be noted that Jacob settled, and sank his well 
within half a mile of his grandfather's sanctuary. 

Shechem has a prominent place in the history of the 
sons of Gideon (Judg. ix.). " By the oak of the pillar," 
or rather " by Abraham's terebinlli in the plain," the 
men of Shechem, at Joshua's altar, set up their kins- 
man, the usurj)er and fratricide, Abimelech, as king. 
To denounce thij^ act of usuri)ati()n and treason, 
.Jotham, clinging among the braml)les at the top, and 
looking down over the olive-trees, lig-trees, and vines 

KriiRAiM 227 

beneath liiin, spoke to tlie men of Sliecliem, from the 
overhanging heights of Geri/im, the first parable 
recorded in history. Tln^ec years afterwards, when he 
had been driven out, Ahimelech returned with his men, 
and, in revenge, destroyed the city and sowed it with 
salt. He afterwards captured and destroyed the citadel, 
putting the garrison to the sword. 

But Shechem soon recovered ; and, no doubt with a 
view to conciliate the northern tribes, Kehoboam went 
there to be made king : but, with foolish obstinacy, re- 
jected their request, and was afterwards compelled to 
fly to Jerusalem (1 Kings xii.). At Shechem Israel 
soon reassembled, crowned Jeroboam, and completed 
the schism unhealed to this day. 

No wonder that all these events, crowded under the 
shadow of Gerizim, made that little valley to be, in 
after ages, the ecclesiastical and political centre of the 
tribe of Joseph. As the regal residence, it soon had to 
give place to Tirzah, and then to Jezreel and Samaria. 
Up to the Captivity, the royal capital changed with the 
ever-changing usurping dynasties ; but the heart of the 
people was round Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's Well. 
After the Captivity of Israel, Shalmaneser, and after- 
wards Esar-haddon, sent colonies to occupy the deserted 
cities (2 Kings xvii. 24 ; Ezra iv. 2) ; and these settlers, 
mingled with the old inhabitants, adopted a mongrel 
worship. At length idolatry was abolished ; and on the 
crest of Gerizim the great national Temple of the 
Samaritans was erected b.o. 300. The enmity of the 
Jews succeeded in utterly destroying it b.c. 129. It 
was to the ruins of this Temple our Lord looked and 
pointed when He declared to the Samaritan woman : 
*'The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this 
mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father." 

From the time of the origin of the Samaritan sect, 
the history of Shechem is bound up with that people : 


and here, and not at Samaria, was the metropolis of 
the creed. 

In the New Testament, Shechem is by many supposed 
to be mentioned vTnder the name of Sychar, probably 
a term of reproach — "folly" — substituted by Jewish 
animosity for the old name. But although this is 
supported by mediaeval tradition, yet we find that 
Jerome separates Sychar from Shechem. It seems far 
more satisfactory to identify Sychar with the village of 
Askar in the plain, and just above Jacob's Well. It 
suits the Gospel narrative better, as being an obscure 
place, " a city of Samaria." It is visible from the w^ell, 
where a path ascends to it, and is a poor village with 
no great marks of antiquity, but with remains of ancient 
tombs near the road on the east shoulder of Mount 
Ebal. Here our Lord, after His conversation with the 
woman at the well, ab)ode two days, and "many more 
believed because of His own work " (John iv.). Shechem 
is supposed by some to have beeji the city where Philip 
preached (Acts viii. 5). 

Shechem was the native place of Justin Martyr. It 
was destroyed in the Jewish war, and was afterwards 
i-ebuilt by Vespasian, who gave it the name of AVeapolis, 
which, contrary to the almost universal rule in such 
cases, it has retained, being now known only as Nablous. 
Of its population of over 5000, not 200 are of the 
Samaritan faith. One of its mosques has been a very 
fine Christian church. 

The old city appears to have extended considerably 
from this to the eastward, i. f. nearer Jacob's Well, as 
may be seen by the number of old foundations in the 

Mount Kbal, overhanging Shechem on the north, is 
about a hiuulred foot higher than ({eri/im, and is 
strewn with ruins which are (juite undecipherable. On 
its south-east shoulder is the ruined site called 'Askar, 



supposed with good reason to be the Sychar of the 

The Altar of Joshua on Ebal appears to be represented 
by a site still sacred among the Moslem peasantry, 
called Amud ed Deen, "monument of the faith." It is 
interesting to note this local tradition, held by those 
who are neither Samaritan nor Christian. 

Mount Zalmon, the wooded height from which 


Abimelech and his followers cut down branches to set 
fire to the Tower of Shechem (Judg. ix. 48), must have 
been near Ebal, perhaps a part of the range which, to 
the north and west, is not clearly defined ; but no trace 
of the name has been found. It is doubtful whether 
the allusion, '' white as snow in Zalmon," is to the 
same hill. 

(rerizivi, "the mount of blessings," to the south, has 
far more objects of interest. The ruins are at the 
north-east brow of the hills overhanging, not the city. 


but Jacob's Well and the plain eastward. There are 
the remains of a massive wall, which once surrounded 
temple and fortress. The stones are of great size, but 
not dressed with the care of those of Jerusalem. There 
are a great number of ancient and very deep wells, both 
within and without the enclosure. About two hundred 
yards to the south of the brow are a row of twelve 
stones in the ground, held by the Samaritans to be the 
stones of the tribes, brought up by Joshua from the 
Jordan, but which seem rather to have been part of 
Justinian's fortress. A little further back is the sacred 
spot of the Samaritans, a large bare rock, sloping west, 
w^ith a deep cave or well in its rear, apparently used, as 
this was the stone of sacrifice, for the drainage of the 
blood and offal. 

Though the daily sacrifice and the paschal lamb have 
ceased to be offered by the Jews since the fall of Jeru- 
salem, the Samsiritans, or Cuthites, as the Jews call 
them, have maintained to the present day their annual 
Passover and its sacrifice. Every year the little com- 
munity gathers on the slopes of Mount Gerizim, though 
not on the site of their old temple, and with imperfect 
and mutilated rites, three or four lambs are slain and 
eaten : the last remaining vestige of Mosaic sacrifice. 

The Samaritans hold the Pentateuch but reject the 
Prophets. The Law they interpolate in places, append- 
ing to the J^ecalogue a charge to worship the Lord on 
Mount Gerizim. For this mountain they claim the 
meeting-place of Abraham and Melchizedek ; and assert 
it to be tlie Moriah where Abraham offered up Isaac. 
Their schism and temple seem to have been devised by 
a schismatic priest, Manasseh, dismissed by Nehemiah 
from his office for an unlawful marriage ; and who took 
with him to the Assyrian settlers in Mount Kplu'aim a 
copy of the 1/aw of Moses, tlie original of the Samaritan 



ThoRO people, wlio tlins adopted a mutilated Jewish 
litual, were hardly Ephraimites at all ; though after- 
wards, intermingled, they claimed Jacob as their father : 
"Our father Jacob which gave us the well." Their 
features, though Jewish, are distinct in type from those 
of the other Hebrews. They still remain, a mere hand- 
ful, at once the smallest and almost the most ancient 
religious sect in the world. They have but one syna- 


gogue, an obscure building, retired amongst a labyrinth 
of courts, in Kablous. After the Christian epoch they 
were a people of some consideration, but wars and 
rebellions reduced their numbers, till, from the sixth 
century, they appear no more in history. 

Their sacred roll is well known, and is exhibited with 
great pomp on their high days. It is practically the 
object of Samaritan adoration ; and, though not of the 
immense antiquity they claim for it, is probably amongst 


the oldest manuscripts in the world. It is written, 
as are all their books, in the old Hebrew character, 
while all Jews, since the time of Ezra, have used the 
Chaldcean character, in which our Hebrew Bibles are 

The Oah of Moreh, already referred to, the first camp 
and altar of Abram in the Land of Promise, was before 
Shechem (Gen. xii. 6), at the entrance of the valley, in 
the plain, and, therefore, close to Jacob's Well. There 
is no spot in sacred story more accurately marked out 
than this ; and it adds to its fascination to know that 
here we are on the very spot consecrated by the sacred 
presence of our Divine Saviour ; that exactly where wo 
are sitting He sat. The arched arcade that protected 
the well and invited the w^ay-worn traveller by its shade, 
has long since crumbled; but its pillars and ruins are 
strewn around us. 

This is the parcel of ground that Jacob bought of 
Hamor, the father of Shechem, where, like his grand- 
father, he first encamped when he came from the land 
of the east : here he, too, erected his altar, and here he 
sank that well, which has remained to the present day 
(Gen. xxxiii. 18 — 20). The very circumstances of the 
case explain both his purchase and his sinking this 
well. Though the plain is the richest in the land, yet 
the streams in it are few. The brook that flows east- 
ward from the valley is but scanty, for most of the 
springs drain to the west. Two of the three great 
fountains on this side the city were within its boundaries, 
and the third l)elonged to the village of Shalom hard 
by. Jacob knew well the jealousy between the settled 
inhal)itants and the nomad herdsmen, who would 
certainly not be permitted to water their flocks within 
the precincts ; and, therefore, witli tliat cautious pru- 
dence which over stamped his character, he piu-cliases 
a small piece of land, quite outside the valley, where 

ErHRAIM 233 

tliei'o could 1)0 no suspicion of his making a stronghold, 
and in it ho sinks this well — which must have heen, 
for those times, a most costly work — deeper far than 
the wells sunk by his grandfather Abraham, under 
similar circumstances, at Beersheba, and which ako 
reuiain to this day. We know not the original depth 
of this well, but it measured, some few years ago, 
105 feet; and probably this falls far short of its 
original depth, since rubbish has been continually and 
wantonly thrown in, till now it is choked at a depth 
of 75 feet. 

Four hundred yards north of this well, on a gentle 
slope, is the small white building that marks the Tomb 
of Joseph. It stands alone, a little square yai'd, enclosed 
in a whitewashed wall, and a tomb placed diagonally 
across the floor of the wely or chapel. It has been 
preserved from molestation, from age to age, by the 
common reverence in which the Patriarch is held by 
Jew, Samaritan, Christian, and Moslem alike ; while 
the fact of his name being the common property of 
all has prevented any one of them from disfiguring 
by a temple the primitive simplicity of his resting-place. 
Joseph, on his death-bed, took an oath of the children 
of Israel : '' God will surely visit you, and ye shall 
carry up my bones from hence " (Gen. 1. 25). " The 
bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought 
up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel 
of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the 
father of Shechem'' (Josh. xxiv. 32). 

About two miles due east of Jacob's Well, at the 
other side of the Plain of Shechem, a tongue of the plain 
extends a little further into the opposite hills, and in 
front of it is a small featureless village, Salim, the 
ancient ShaJein. It is well supplied with water. " Jacob 
came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the 
land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-aram ; and 


pitched liis tent before the city" (Gen. xxxiii. 18). By- 
some this Shalem has been supposed to have been the 
city of Melchizedek. The place is again incidentally 
referred to in the New Testament, when we read of John 
the Baptist " baptizing in jEnon, near to Salim, because 
there was much water there." St. Jerome places Salim 
in the Jordan Valley, some eight miles south of Beth- 
shean, near Succoth. But the name Salim is not un- 
common, and that locality is unsuited to the narrative, 
there being no necessity to mention "much water" 
close to the Jordan. 

jEnon cannot be traced in the Jordan Valley. But 
just to the north of this Salim, at the head of the Valley 
of Shechem, are copious springs in a broad open valley, 
called Wady Far'ah. This valley rises near Salim, 
separating Mount Ebal from the chain of Nebi Belan, 
and forming a great geological feature in the country. 
It soon becomes a deep and narrow ravine, with steep 
hill-sides burrowed with caverns, in which a perennial 
copious stream, shaded by oleanders, runs towards the 
Jordan. There is a succession of springs after the ruins 
of Burj Far'ah, with flat meadows on either side, where 
great crowds might gather on either bank of the stream. 
It is one of the most picturesque spots in the country, 
and is close to one of the old main lines of road from 
Jerusalem to Galilee. A little to the north of the 
springs is the village of Aynun, the exact Arabic 
equivalent of the ancient JEnon. Thus the position of 
John Baptist's station and of JEnon fe satisfactorily set 
at rest.^ 

To the south-west of the plain of Shechem, or El 
Mokhna, a ruined site, on a projecting " tell," or mound, 

' lit.-Col. ( 'oiulcr, liowcvcr, was not al)le to traci! the naiiu! of 
Salim ainonf5 tlir Arah.s of tlm (listrict, and quostions \\w 
idcntincMtioii. 1 ohtaiiiod it fniin tlic Samaritaus of NaMons and 
n'lt IVdiii till' iK'.'i.sanI rv. 


called El' Orma, marks Arvmah. (Judg. ix. 41), the 
residence of Abimelecli, the usurping son of Gideon. 
It is half-way between Shechem and Shiloh, six or seven 
miles distant, and two miles east of 'Awertah. 

About two miles further east, the position of Janohah, 
has not been so utterly deserted, for the place still 
exists on the east slope of the hills, as they descend 
to the Jordan Valley. It is now called Yanun ; but 
the village is very small, and the ruins are unusually 
extensive and perfect. There are ancient houses still 
entire, covered with great heaps of earth. Janohah 
was a frontier town of Ephraim. 

The road down to the Jordan Valley from Yanun 
leads by the base of Kurn Surtabeh, between Jericho 
and Bethshean, and which in fact appears to bisect 
the long plain by its bold and projecting horn. Just 
opposite to it are the ruins of a bridge, Jisr Damieh, 
which belonged to this road ; the principal route from 
Ephraim to Southern Gilead. 

Kurn Surtabeh is by far the most conspicuous natural 
feature in the whole Jordan valley. On its summit the 
cone has been artificially cut to a platform 100 yards by 
30, enclosed by a very ancient wall of great hewn blocks 
of stone, — a gigantic altar or beacon station. That it 
was used as the latter is evident from the traces of fires 
wiiich have been kindled on it. We read in Joshua 
(xxii. 10) that the Keubenites and Gadites on their 
return home after assisting in the conquest of the Land 
of Promise, " when they came unto the borders of Jor- 
dan, that are in the Land of Canaan, built there an 
altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to," i. e. to be seen 
from far. Again (ver. 34), " They called the altar 
^Ed, for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord 
is God." 

The name ^Ed still lingers on the spot in the 
name of the road up to the north: "The going up 


which leads to A yd," the exact Arabic equivalent for 
the word written " Ed " in a. v. The site perfectly ful- 
fils the requirements for the witness altar. It is on the 
direct road down which the men of the two tribes and 
a half must have passed. It is "to be seen from far" 
on every side. It is just above the " borders " {yelilloth, 
the hillocks or rolling mounds) of Jordan ; and on its 
summit are the remains of the great ancient platform 
of altar and beacon. The altar we note in the history 
was a great altar^ not a pile of stones that might be 
raised in a day, but a monument to record to later 
times the share of the trans-Jordanic tribes in the con- 
quest. It is thus actually the oldest historical artificial 
record existing in Palestine, and the only one known to 
be coeval with the time of Joshua. 

From the summits of Kurn Surtabeh and of Beisan 
we can trace every detail of the flight of the Midianite 
invaders and of their pursuit by Gideon. " They fled 
to Beth SJiittali, now 8hutta, in Zererath, and to the 
borders of Ahel-meJiolah.^' Zererath appears to have been 
the name of a district, the same as the Zarthan (1 Kings 
vii. 46), between which and Succoth were the brass- 
foundries of Solomon ; and as the Zartanah, one of his 
commissariat districts. This seems to be identical witli 
the Zaretan of Josh. iii. 16, opposite, at some distance, 
to the place where the flow of Jordan was arrested, so 
as to aft'ord a passage to the liosts of Israel across 

Tlie Alexandrian Codex seems to tlu'ow a light on 
this subject. It reads ^lapa/x, and there is a very 
conspicuous and unusually largo mound, south of 
iJethshean, called Tell Sa.roii. In .loshua Zaretan is 
mentioned as near the city Adam, i. e. " red earth." A 
mile to the south of Tell Sarom is Khirbot el ir.vmrath 
(red), and the ford ()j)posite is called the ford of the rod 
earth, fitly so named from the colour of the soil. The 

iEPiiiiAiM 237 

word "forest" seems a transcriber's error for city, by 
tlie transposition of two letters, and the LXX. reads 

Another ancient track falls into the same road 
towards the bridge down the Wady el Ferrah, the north 
route from Shechem, passing by what was probably the 
boundary line of Ephraim and Manas seh, near TappitaJt. 
On the slope, as the wady opens into the Jordan Yalley, 
are the ruins of the city of Arc/ielais, founded by Herod's 
son Archelaus ; and the modern name of which, El 
Basaliyeh, retains the traditions of its royal origin. On 
one of its tombs yet remains an inscription in the old 
Hebrew character. 

Tajypuah, or En Tapj^uah, is mentioned as on the 
boundary line of Ephraim and Manasseh. From its 
name (i. e. "apricot," or " apple "), it was probably in a 
fruit district ; and the name and position of a desolate 
heap of ruins, with walls, called Atiif, on the north side 
of Wady el Farah, seems to indicate its site. Conder, 
however, prefers Yasuf, and its spring at the head of 
Wady Kanah, south-west of Shechem. 

TaanatJt-sldloh is also given (Josh. xvi. 6) as one of 
the frontier towns of Ephraim. It seems to be marked 
by T'ana or Thala, a site between Shechem and the 
Jordan, west of Janohah. 

Miclmiethali (Josh. xvi. 6) is probably represented by 
the ruined village of Mokhnah on the western edge of 
the plain of the same name, Sahel el Mukna, the plain of 

Finally, the boundary between Ephraim and Man- 
asseh toward the sea was the River Kanah, i. e. the 
stream of reeds. There is some doubt as to which of 
the various streams flowing into the sea between Joppa 
and Csesarea is here intended. The most probable 
conjecture is that which identifies it with Nahr Falaik, 
which enters the sea about half-way between the two 


towns, starting between Shechem and Samaria, and 
which, in the early part of its course, is called Wady 
Khanah, or " reedy wady." Probably in the same dis- 
trict, near the coast, was Hepher, whose king Avas slain 
by Joshua, and which was one of the districts of 
Solomon (1 Kings iv. 10). 

In the mountain country, near the sources of the 
Falaik, was the Ephraimite town Piratlion, the native 
place of Abdon the Judge (Judg. xii. 13 — 15), and 
which may be Ferata, with the name scarcely changed, 
a little west of Shechem. It is stated to be in the 
Mount of the Amalekites, perhaps a traditional vestige 
of the incursions of that ancient people. Lt.-Col. 
Conder suggests the important ancient site called Faraun, 
ten miles further north-west. 

A little to the north of Shechem, in the mountain 
district, twelve miles from Samaria, on the road from 
Nablous to Beisan, in a well-wooded country, lies 
Tulluza, the ancient Tirzah, mentioned in the lists of 
Shishak. It was an old Canaanite city, whose king fell 
before Joshua (ch. xii. 24). Its remarkable beauty, 
" Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah" (Cant. vi. 4), 
caused it to be selected as the royal residence by Jero- 
boam. Teiasir, six miles further east, has also been 

Jeroboam's successors, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, and 
Zimri, also resided at Tirzah, where Baasha and pro- 
Ixibly the others were buried. Here was matured the 
conspiracy of Zimri, and, in retribution, he in his turn 
was here besieged by Omri, who, after the capture of 
the place, resided here for six years, till he removed the 
capital to the now city of Samaria, Several generations 
later, at Tirzah, Menahem organized his rebellion 
against Shallum ; but, so soon as he was successful, 
he established his government in Samaria. There are 
numerous cavo-supulchres north of the village, among 

lii'HiiAiM 230 

which may be the tombs of the first four kings of Israel, 
wlio were buried here. 

Some other towns in the north-east border of 
Ephraim, beyond Tirzah, occur in the history of Abime- 
lech (Judg, ix.). Thehez was taken by him after his 
cruel exploit of suffocating a thousand men of Hhechem 
in their stronghold with green wood. A tower resisted, 
and he was about to repeat his stratagem of Shechem, 
when a woman of Thebez let fall a piece of a millstone 
upon his head, and put an end to his career (see also 
2 Sam. xi. 21). It is now a thriving town, buried in 
olive-groves, and its name, Tubas, scarcely changed. 

Three miles and a half north-east of Tubas, Ibzik, a 
group of ruins, with tombs and cisterns, on a low hill, 
marks the site of Bezek, where Saul mustered his first 
army against the i?^.mmonites. 

Proceeding north-east about four miles, we come to 
Asirah, the Asher of Josh. xvii. 7, and a frontier town 
of Manasseh, on the road to the fords of Succoth. 

In this region also we must place ^Shamir, the resi- 
dence and burial-place of Tola the Judge (Judg. x. 2). 
Van de Yelde fixes it at the ruins of Sammir, north-east 
of Janohah. 

From Asher, or Yasir, following the course of the 
Wady Malih, we descend into the Plain of the Jordan, 
passing by numerous shapeless heaps of ruins, and at 
length, about half-a-mile from the Jordan, reach the 
ruins of a village — rough foundations of unhewn stones 
— called Sakut, which we identify, with some little 
doubt, with the tSuccoth of Scripture. It is nearly 
opposite the entry of the Yabis (Jabesh Gilead) into 
the Jordan, and stands on a low projecting bluff, at the 
foot of which there bursts forth a beautiful fountain of 
sweet water. 

We read that Jacob, after his interview with Esau, 
on his return from Padan-aram, " journeyed to Succoth, 


and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle " 
(Gen. xxxiii. 17). By Succoth, Gideon passed in pursuit 
of the Midianite invaders ; and being refused food for 
his men, punished the seventy-seven elders of the place 
on his victorious return. Between Succoth and Zarthan 
Solomon erected his brass-foundries, for casting the 
metal-work of the Temple. There is a ford across the 
Jordan not far from Sakut. Many good authorities, 
however, place Succoth east of Jordan. It is very 
probable that the name existed on both sides of the 

Tlmnath-serah (Thnnath-heres, Judg. ii. 6), " in Mount 
Ephraim" (Josh. xix. 50), "on the north side of the 
hill of Gaash " (ch. xix. 50), was the possession given 
to Joshua himself, after the allotment to all the tribes 
had been completed. The site of Timnath-serah was in 
the south-western portion of Ephraim, about six miles 
north-west of Gophna, at a place now called Tibneh. 
The name llei'ea, " rugged mount," lingers here in Batn 
Harashah, Kefr Hares, and Hares, all to the west of 
Mount Ephraim. 

Of Timnath, St. Jerome says : " Very marvellous is 
it that the distributor of the possessions should have 
chosen for himself so rugged and mountainous a spot." 
Surrounded with deep valleys and wild rugged hills, 
remote from the ordinaiy route of travellers, it is a 
pictures(|ue site. An oval ''tell," with steep and 
regular sides, forms the site of the town. Southward, 
on the other side of a broad valley on the northern face 
of a liill (" tlie hill of Gaash"?), are excavated a number 
of tombs, som(! of the finest in Palestine, and at the 
foot of the town runs the great Roman road. On the 
north slope of the hill a line spring breaks out of a 
rocky channel. Little* of tiie city remains, but the 
tombs are very pcrfccl. The iinest of them, and per- 
liMps th(; most striking monument in iiie country, is 


still known as Joslma's tomb. Tho walls of its groat 
porch are studded with over 200 niches for lamps, all 
smoke-blacked. The capitals of the porch are very 
simple, unlike all the later Jewish tombs. Inside is a 
large square chamber, with niches for bodies, and beyond 
it a smaller inner chamber, with a single niche for a 
body on one side, and for a lamp on the other. Here 
we are in the tomb of Joshua. 

The name Jiljilia {(jilyal) lingers in several places. 
One — thirteen miles north of Lydda, on the road to 
C?esarea — is, probably, the Gilgal of Josh. xii. 23. 
There is another a little further north again ; and a 
third, about half-way between Tibneh (or Timnath-seraJi) 
and Shiloh, seems to be the Gilgal so often spoken of 
in the history of Elisha as that which was cdjove Bethel, 
in contrast with the Gilgal by Jericho, also visited by 
the Prophet. 

Many other names in Mount Ephraim point to old 
Israelite cities, as Deir Baliit [Baalath), Kuriyet, Harit, 
Yabud, and others ; but they cannot be assigned satis- 
factorily to any historic sites. 





Boundaries of Manasseh — Samaria — Its Origin — Natural position — Sieges- 
Elijah and Elislia — History of Samaria — Sehuatliich — Ruins — Fulfilment of 
Prophecy — Dothan — Joseph and his brethren — Ophrah — Bethulia — Sannr — 
Taanach — Hadad-Rimmon — Ramiannch — Megiddo — Lejjwn — Description of 
site — Armageddon — Battles — Barak and Sisera — Josiah and Pharaoh-Necho 
— The Kishon — Jokneam — Tdl Kaimuii — Mount Carmel — Characteristic 
features of Cannel— Its beauty — High Places— Elijah's Sacrifices — £•? 
Mokrakali — Altar — Well and Spring — Perennial — View from Summit of 
Carmel — Historical Reminiscences — Tdl Kassils — Mound of the Priests- 
Fire from Heaven — Elisha and the Shunamite — Pythagoras — Vespasian — 
Carmelite Friars— Road to Egypt— Ca/^U—Achsaph—Alammelech — Amad— 
Boundary of Asher. 

The inheritance of Manasseh, west of Jordan, was, as 
we have seen, much interwoven with that of Ephraim 
on the south, and the boundaries difficult to define. On 
the north, however, the frontier was natural and more 
clearly laid down. The border cities, with Ephraim, 
have been already mentioned. But we may notice the 
statement (Josh. xvii. 10), "They met together in Aslier 
on the north, and in Issachar on the east." The tribe 
of Manasseh stretched right across Western Palestine, 
its northern limits being crescent-shaped, with one horn 
projecting into Asher at J)or, now the village Tantiira, 
on the sea-coast, the other into Issachar at Bethshean, in 
the east. Its historical importances lies in its occupation 
of the passes of Esdnielon, or the Plain of Jezreel. 
When(iver that richest and most oi)en part of the Holy 
Ljind was occupied by hostile forces, it was from tlie 
passes of Manasseh that it was commanded. On this 
turns the wliole history of the great hero of Manasseh, 


Gideon, wlio, among these hills, was raised up to descend 
on the Midianite swarms of invaders. 

A ride of about eight miles brings us from Nablous 
{Shecheni) to Samaria. The portion of the road up the 
Vale of Shechem is the brightest and most civilized 
scene in modern Palestine. Olive-groves, gardens, 
orange-groves, and palm-trees, form a maze of beauty in 
strange contrast with the decay which elsewhere pre- 
vails. Then crossing a ridge, probably the old limit of 
Ephraim, we descend upon this network of valleys, 
among which rises the hill of Samaria. 

tSamaria was not an original city, though the later 
capital of the kingdom. The story of its origin is given 
with much minuteness in 1 Kings xvi. 23, 24. When 
Omri bought the hill of Shemer, and built the city 
which he named after the old proprietor, the position 
had great natural advantages. The hill is oblong, with 
a wide platform at its top, and steep terraced sides. It 
is completely isolated from the surrounding hills, which 
are higher, so that it was safe from surprise, and no 
enemy could approach it from any quarter unobserved. 
In this respect it bears a strong resemblance to Jeru- 
salem. It commands a noble view of the Plain of 
Sharon to the west, and of the sea beyond it. How 
often from this spot must the besieged Israelites have 
gazed on the Syrian hosts investing their city on all 
sides ! (1 Kings xx. ; 2 Kings vi.) 

Here Ahab, at the instigation of his wife Jezebel, 
built a splendid temple to Baal. In this reign was the 
first siege of Samaria by the Syrians, and the second, in 
the reign of Jehoram, quickly followed, when, after a 
three years' blockade, the siege was raised by Divine 
intervention, as had been foretold by Elisha. Samaria 
was the scene of many important events in the lives of 
Elijah and Elisha. At the Pool of Samaria the dogs 
licked the blood of Ahab, as Elijah had foretold, when 


his body was brought up from Ramoth Gilead. Into 
besieged Samaria Elisha led the blind-stricken detach- 
ment of Syrian troops who had been sent to take him, 
and delivering them to the King of Israel, taught him 
a lesson of clemency. Here he received the visit of 
Naaman, and taught the Syrian general a yet higher 
lesson. We can picture, at the end of that second 
siege, the camp of Benhadad in the valley below, while 
starvation wasted the crowds within ; then the discovery 
of the panic of the Syrians by the lepers ; then the 
rush at the gate just over the brow, and the scattered 
garments and vessels along that valley by which the 
invaders had fled towards the east. 

In B.C. 721 Samaria was taken, after its second three 
years' siege, by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, and with 
its fall closed the history of the kingdom of Israel. 

It was afterwards taken, and its inhabitants trans- 
planted, by Alexander the Great. Again, the Jews, 
under Hyrcanus, nearly destroyed it ; and, in turn, the 
old inhabitants were re-established by Pompey. 

Augustus gave it to Herod the Great, who re-colonized 
it, rebuilt it, and added most sumptuous palaces, theatres, 
temples, stadium, and colonnades, changing its name to 
tSebaste (i.e. Augusta), in honour of his patron, by the 
Arabic form of which, Sebustiyeh, it is still known. 

In the New Testament, though the term Samaria is 
several times used generally for the people and villages 
of the country, yet it seems that here Philip the Deacon 
preached and founded a church, and here Simon the 
Sorcerer was converted. It was the seat of a Crusading 
bishopric, the church of which remains. 

The modern village of Sel)ustiyeh is on the side — not 
the top — of the hill, containing perliaps 500 souls. It 
clusters round the old Christian Church of St. John, 
now a mosfjue, nearly perfect, excepting the roof of tlie 
nave. Higher up, long streets of columns in different 



directions, some fallen, some broken, others half -buried, 
but very many standing perfect, show the extent and 
splendour of Herod's city. The most important ruins 
are those of Herod's Colonnade, girdling with a sort of 
cloister the central knoll, constructed on a level terrace. 
The cloister was 60 feet wide and the columns are 16 
feet high. The circuit is about 2000 yards. On the 
south side eighty columns are standing, and we can see the 


foundation of two £:ate towers. Other streets of columns 
lead up the hill, from the lower city. There are also 
gateways and a ruined triumphal arch standing. When 
we look down on the gaunt columns rising out of the 
little terraced field, and the vines clambering up the 
sides of the hill, once covered by the palaces of proud 
Samaria, we recall the prophecy of Micah : ''I will 
make Samaria as an heap of the field and as plantings 
of a vineyard ; and I will pour down the stones thereof 


into the valley, and I will discover the foundations 
thereof " (Mic. i. 6). Not more literally have the de- 
nunciations on Tyre or on Babylon been accomplished. 
To the eye-witness the fulfilment is startling in its 

Of the Israelite, or older city, no traces remain — 
unless, possibly, the reservoir by the old Church of St. 
John be the "Pool of Samaria," where the blood was 
washed from Ahab's chariot after the fatal day at 
Eamoth Gilead. 

About twelve miles north of Samaria, close to the 
road to Galilee, is Dothan, still bearing exactly the same 
name, mentioned by Thothmes III. among his conquests, 
showing the antiquity of the place. The country is full 
of the old fortified villages of Manasseh, every one of 
them a natural stronghold, and full of deep gorges, a 
perfect network, twisting down towards the Plain of 
Esdraelon. Dothan is the very richest of pasture- 
grounds — a little upland plain, with a smooth hill at the 
southern end, on which are some ruins, and a fine spring 
bursting at its foot. Here Joseph found his brethren, 
and into a cistern here they cast him. Sitting by that 
spring, they bartered their brother to the Ishmaelite 
traders (Gen. xxxvii.). The only other incident in 
Scripture connected with Dothan is Elisha's residence 
there, and the attempt to seize him by the Syrians, 
frustrated by Divine intervention. The plain, though 
so rich, is now uninhabited. 

Just to the south-west of Dothan, and nine miles north 
of Samaria, is Arrabeh, conjectured by some to be the 
()j)hr(ih of the Al)iezrites, the native place of the Judge 
(lideon. It is a village on a hill, surrounded by a wall 
and is pr()l)Mbly as largo a place now as in the time 
of Israel. Its scriptural interest concentrates exclusively 
in the life of (Gideon. Hero he was born (Judg. vi. 11), 
and ill a good old ago was buried (ch. viii. 32). Here 


he commenced his public life, by cutting down the grove 
of Baal and erecting an altar to the Lord (ch. vi. 
24 — 32) ; and here, after his victory over Midian, he 
established a shrine, and set up an ephod, made of the 
spoils of their chieftains, which became a snare to his 
house and to idolatrous Israel (ch. viii. 27). Condor 
suggests Fer'ata, six miles west of Shechem, on the 
authority of the Samaritan Chronicle which identifies 
it with Ophrah. 

Three miles south-east of this is a strongly fortified 
but now ruined fortress, on a commanding hill, Sanur, 
whose sheikhs long resisted the Turkish power, and 
have within the present century sustained two sieges. 
After four months it was taken in 1830. The position 
exactly meets the description of BetJiulia, in the Book 
of Judith. From this and from its natural strength it 
has been identified with Bethulia. There is one ob- 
jection, however, to this identification of Sanur, that 
the Plain of Esdraelon cannot be seen from it. Not 
far from Sanur a small village has recently been dis- 
covered called Mithilia, little more than three miles 
from Dothan. It commands a view of the plain, and 
may be the ancient BetJtulia. 

At Dothan we are close upon the descent into the Plain 
of Esdraelon, the rich heritage of Issachar. But the 
mountain region continues unbroken in an irregular 
curve towards Carmel, and was held by Manasseh. 
Three places of historic interest are situated on the front 
of this hill country, between Dothan and Carmel — 
Taanach, Iladad-lUmmon, and Megiddo. 

Following the margin of the hill country, we go round 
the head of a small valley, and turn along the crest of a 
long ridge which projects from the mountains of Manas- 
seh into the Plain of Esdraelon, which forms two 
embayed plains on either side of it. It terminates in a 
large mound commanding the plain, the ancient Taanach 


{Tanach of Josh. xxi. 25), to this day unchanged in name, 
Ta'annuk, an old Canaanitish stronghold, taken by 
Thothmes III., and at a far later date by Shishak ; its 
king was slain by Joshua (ch. xii. 21), and the city was 
allotted to Manasseh and afterwards assigned to the 
Kohathite Levites (ch. xxi. 25). 

The place, however, long remained in the hands of the 
Canaanites, whom Manasseh could not expel (Judg. i. 27), 
a difficulty which can easily be understood when we 
observe the natural position of the place ; and, though 
afterwards reduced to tribute, they do not appear ever to 
have been altogether driven out. Taanach seems to have 
been the gathering-place of Sisera's host. '' Then fought 
the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of 
Megiddo " (Judg. v. 19). The old ruins are extensive, 
but featureless, on the top of the hill. The modern 
village is nearer the base, at the south-east side of it. 
Many of the small feeders of the Kishon take their rise 
in this neighbourhood. 

In 1 Chron. vi. 70, ^Aner is substituted for Taanach. 
This may be recognized, perhaps, in the modern village 
of 'Anim, three miles west of Ta'annuk, where are the 
remains of tlie ancient site. 

Following along the crest of the ridge westward, to 
reach Megiddo, we come to the village of Kummaneh, 
which by its name recalls the Hadad-Riinmon, where 
Jeremiah and the people of Judah mourned for Josiah, 
when he had fallen in the battle of Megiddo. " In that 
day shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the 
mourning of Hadad-Rimmon in the valley of Megiddo " 
(Zech. xii. 11). 

In a nook of the hills, about five miles north-west of 
Taanach, just on the borders of the i)lain, arc ancient 
ruins, strewn witli largo fragments of marble sculptures 
and granite, on both sides of ;i little stream, but no 
modern village or houses. The place bears the name of 


Lejjun, the Arabic corruption of Le(jio, the Koman name 
of the Meyiddo of the Old Testament. The okler Israel- 
itish town appears to have been a little higher up the hill, 
where the mound of ruins is called Tell Mutasellim. We 
see at once that the sister city of Taanach was a natural 
outpost and commanded one of the gorges of Manasseh. 
In fact, to this day the caravan road from Nazareth and 
Galilee to Egypt, by the Plain of Sharon, passes up 
this valley. 

There are few spots of greater interest in the old 
history of Israel. From the brow here we look out 
upon the great Plain of Esdraelon (the Greek corruption 
of its old name, the plain or " valley of Jezreel "), the 
great battle-field of Israel. The wide western portion of 
it may be called the Plain of Megiddo. Megiddo was 
the foi-tress of the western portion of the plain. From 
its position it was the point of contact between the 
Israelites, who relied solely on their infantry, and the 
Canaanites and subsequent invaders, whose strength was 
in their cavalry and chariots. Hence it has been taken 
in the Apocalypse as the figurative name of the place 
of final conflict between the powers of good and evil, 
"called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon" (Rev. xvi. 
16), i. e. "the Mount of Megiddo." 

Long before the entrance of Israel into the land, 
Megiddo was a place of great importance. It was at 
Megiddo that the chief victory of Thothmes III. over the 
Hittites was won. It was already a fortress which had 
stood a siege. After this w^e learn from the Amarna 
letters that it was held along with Accho (Acu) by 
Egyptian troops. 

Two of the great battles of Old Testament history 
occurred in front of Megiddo. The first was when 
Barak, stirred up by the prophetess Deborah, roused all 
the northern and central tiibes to shake olf the yoke 
of Jabin, King of Canaan : Ephraim, Benjamin, and 


Manasseli on the one side ; Zebulun, Issachar, and 
Naphtali from the north. Sisera's 900 chariots of iron 
were mustered in front of Taanach and Megiddo. 
Barak descended from Tabor, on the opposite side of 
the plain, and, as a terrific storm burst upon the 
Canaanites, he fell upon them. The mountain torrents, 
rapidly swollen, poured down into the Kishon, the river 
overflowed, and the torrent swept away chariots and 
horses in hopeless confusion. " They fought from 
heaven : the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. 
The river Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, 
the river Kishon. Then were the horse-hoofs broken 
by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their 
mighty ones" (Judg. v. 20—22). So "the Lord dis- 
comfited Sisera. " 

Very different were the circumstances and the results 
of the second battle of Megiddo, 650 years later. 
Pharaoh-Necho, King of Egypt, marching against the 
King of Assyria, came, as it would seem, along the Plain 
of Sharon, and then, rounding Carmel, turned to march 
up the central plain towards Syria ; when Josiah, 
determined to oppose his progress, met him at Megiddo. 
Here, exposing himself in his chariot, Josiah was 
mortally wounded by the Egyptian archers and carried 
to Jerusalem, where he died, overwhelming his nation 
in the bitterest of grief (2 Chron. xxxv. 20—22). The 
lamentations for Josiah " were made an ordinance in 
Israel." The battle of Megiddo is mentioned by Hero- 
dotus, who speaks of the Jews as Syrians. Josiah was 
not the first King of Judnh to whom Megiddo had been 
fatal, for here Amaziah died of his wounds when ho fled 
from Jehu (2 Kings ix. 27). Megiddo was one of the 
fortresses that fell before Shishak. 

Megiddo looks out upon its plains and tlio Kishon, 
the modern Nahr el Mukatta,, /. c. liver of slaughter, 
while behind it the hill country of Joseph rises in 


irregular masses. But as we proceed to the north-west, 
this soon contracts, till wc can look down on the Plain 
of Esdraelon north and that of Sharon south. 

Though we have })referred, for several topographical 
reasons, the generally accepted identification of Lejjun 
with Megiddo ; yet it must be stated that Lt.-Col. 
Conder has proposed and supported with no little erudition 
and much ingenuity, an entirely new theory. He 
would find Megiddo in Khurbet Mujedd'a, an important 
ruin with abundant springs, three and a half miles 
south of Beisan [BetJtshean) in the Jordan valley. The 
similarity, we might rather say the identity, of the 
names is a strong argument, especially as we have no 
ancient authority for identifying the Roman Leyio with 
the Hebrew Megiddo. There are many topographical 
difficulties either way ; but on the whole I am inclined 
to think, in the present state of our knowledge, that the 
adoption of Lejjun for Megiddo presents the fewest. 

About six miles from Lejjun a rounded hill ends the 
territory of Manasseh. It is covered with traces of ruins, 
though vitterly desolate, and is Tell Kaimun, the 
Commona of Eusebius, Joknecmi of Carinel, a Canaanitish 
city conquered by Joshua (xii. 22). It was assigned to 
the Merarite Levites (xxi. 34), but was in the tribe of 
Zebulun, whose border reached to the rivei- that is 
before Jokneam, either the Kishon, a mile in front of it, 
or rather the Wady el Milh, just west of the hill, and 
which is the boundary ravine between the bare hills of 
Manasseh and the wooded glades of Carmel, and thus 
between Asher which held Carmel, and Issachar. The 
four tribes thus met at this point. By this wady is one 
of the roads from Sharon to Galilee, and through it 
Napoleon led his army in a.d. 1799. 

Just in front of Jokneam there rises a sudden bold 
])lutt' over a steep base studded with noble trees. This 
bluff is the east end of Carmel, one of the historical 



mountains of Palestine. It is also one of its most 
striking natural features. Not a peak, like Hermon, 
nor a rounded hill, as Tabor : Carmel is a long ridge 
branching off from the mountains of Samaria, and 
running for eighteen miles north-west, forming a bold 
headland, the one indentation of the long straight coast- 
line of Palestine. It forms by its projection the Bay of 
Acre to the north, and runs out with a bold bluff, almost 



as precipitous as its eastern end, into the sea itself, 
leaving but a narrow strip of sand at its base. It thus 
stands as a wall between the maritime Plain of Sharon 
on the south, and the more inland Plain of Esdraelou 
on the north. It is nearly 1800 foot high, but gently 
descends towards the western front of the bluff, which 
is not iiioro tluxn 600 feet in height, while the eastern 
end is IGOO feet above the sea. 

The name of "Carmel," or "park,'' is illustrated 


even by the present condition of " CarDiel by the sea." 
Nothing so park-like, sucli a mingling of forest and 
glade, is to be seen elsewhere in the Holy Land. Not 
that the trees are really of great size, with a few 
exceptions. Pines crown the highest parts, and some 
of the dells have noble trees, though much of the forest 
has been cleared for charcoal. There still remain holm- 
oaks and chestnuts. But the characteristic of the 
" excellency of Carmel " (Isa. xxxv. 2) is the wonderful 
profusion of flowering and perfumed shrubs — bay, 
storax, linden, arbutus, and innumerable others, waft- 
ing their fragrance in volumes through the air, while 
the open glades, with flowers of every hue, orchis, 
cyclamen, tulip, lily, are like the Garden of Eden run 
wild. But all this " excellency " only lasts for a month 
in spring. Moreover, nothing can be more marked than 
the sudden contrast from the brown bare hills of Samaria 
to the copse and woodland which greets us as soon as 
Carmel is touched. "No wonder that to an Israelite it 
seemed the park of his country ; that the tresses of the 
bride's head should be compared to its woods (Cant. 
vii. 5) ; that its ornaments (excellency) should be re- 
garded as the type of national beauty ; that the wither- 
ing of its fruit should be considered the type of national 
desolation" (Amos i. 27).^ 

Part of Carmel fell within the territory of Asher, 
which extended along the coast of the Plain of Sharon 
as far as Dor (see a7ite, p. 76) ; and on many places on 
its slopes I have found the old wine-presses of the 

^ The above was written twenty-five years ago. Alas ! the 
"excellency of Carmel " is almost a thing of the past. The demand 
for charcoal for manufacturing purposes in Damascus, has led to 
the wholesale destruction of the timber of Mount Carmel, which, 
though Government property, has been permitted by bribed or 
ignorant Pashas to be cleared by speculators, till Carmel is bare and 
becoming a desolate waste. 



Aslierite proprietors of old, with their cemented corn 
store-houses, underground now, all overgrown with bush 
and tangle. 

But what makes the memory of Carmel imperishable 
is its close connection with the grandest events in the 
lives of Elijah and Elisha. There seems to have already- 
existed "on a high place" of Carmel an altar of the 
Lord, which had been overthrown on the introduction of 
Baal worship (1 Kings viii. 30). This is at the eastern 


extremity of the ridge. On the summit, at the very 
edge of the cliff, where it sinks steeply down 1000 feet 
into the Plain of Esdraelon, are heaps of old dressed 
stones, marking the site of a fort, perhaps of a yet older 
altar cast down by Jezebel. This was the spot from 
whence a view of the sea can be first obtained, and to 
it must have como Elijah's servant, while his master 
prayed on the terrace a. hundred feet or more below, 
and seven times returned to gaze, till over the distant 
Cyprus the little cloud ;it length arose portending the 
coming rain, exactly as it does now. 


From this spot a slippery path descends 300 feet 
lower down to the Mohrakah, the ''burning" or "the 
sacrifice." There is no village, no house, only a shape- 
less ruin ; yet here the spot has a name, and the recol- 
lection of the miracle is imbedded in the Arabic nomen- 
clature. It is a glade overlooking the plain, somewhat 
in the shape of an amphitheatre, and completely shut 
in on the north by the well-wooded cliffs. No place 
can be conceived more adapted by nature to be that 
wondrous battle-field of truth, where Elijah appealed 
to I^^rael, " How long halt ye between two opinions *? " 
In front of the principal actors in the scene, with the 
king and his courtiers by their side, the thousands of 
Israel might have been gathered on the lower slopes, 
witnesses of the whole struggle to its stupendous result. 

In the upper part of the amphitheatre to the left is 
an ancient fountain, overhung by a few magnificent 
trees, among them a fine Turkey oak. The reservoir 
of the spring is stone-built and square, about eight feet 
deep, and the steps which once descended to it may yet 
be traced. The roof partially remains. The water is 
of some depth, and never fails. In illustration of this 
there are small shell-fish (JVeritma) found attached to 
the stones in it, which, though common in the Kishon 
and other rivers of the country, are not found in the 
neighbouring wells, and can never exist where the water 
fails at any time of year, as, unlike the other fresh- 
water shell-fish of Palestine they cannot bury them- 
selves in mud. In that three years' drought, when all 
the wells were dry, and the Kishon had first shrunk to 
a string of pools, and was finally lost altogether, this 
deep and shaded spring, fed from the rocks of Carmel, 
remained. Hence Elijah drew for the trench round his 
altar, while Ahab sat under the rock, probably just 
where the oak-tree grows now. 

There are few finer views in the whole land than that 


from this eastern crest of Carmel's ridge. It ranges 
from the bare hills of Galilee in the north to those of 
Samaria in the south, while Mount Tabor rises proudly 
in the east, seeming almost to span the distance from 
Galilee to Gilboa. The sites of Jezreel, Megiddo, 
Shunem, Nain, and many others are in front. For 
twenty miles the eye follows the wide plain, with not 
a tree and scarcely a village in its whole extent. 
Behind, to the south, stretches the sea, whence rose 
the little cloud, with a narrow strip of Sharon and the 
ruins of Athlit and Dor standing out. On the other 
side, to the north, there is a peep of the Plain of Acre 
and the sea washing its edge. 

Down distant Tabor once poured the hosts of Barak ; 
on the edge of that Gilboa the shouts and the sudden 
gleaming lights of Gideon's trusty three hundred startled 
the sleeping Midianites ; and in the unbroken darkness 
of another night, Saul crept up that same Gilboa's side 
to seek the witch's cave, which he quitted but to lose 
kingdom, army, and life on its top, " for there the shield 
of the mighty was vilely cast away." 

Across that plain fled, in broken disorder, the hosts 
of Sisera, to be engulfed in the mud and swamps and 
overwhelmed in the Kishon, then, as often now, swollen 
and treacherous, and hardly a bush or a tree to mark 
its sluggish course. Across that })lain marched the 
Assyrian hordes of Shalmanoser to tlio final destruc- 
tion of Israel ; and nearer still to Carmel fell Josiah at 
the battle of Megiddo. 

But down bellow, name after name has stamped on 
the locality the memory of EUjah's sacrifice. From the 
Mohrakah, or place of burning, a sHppery path leads 
down to th(^ KisJion, which now bears, in uieinory of 
that awful day, tlu5 name of Nahr el Mnkatta, " the 
river of slaughter." Immediately below, on its banks, 
is a small green flat-topped kuoll, npparently artificial. 


Tell Kassis, "the mound of the priests," marking, in 
its name, the very spot where Elijah slew the priests of 
Baul, when he had brought them down to the " brook 

On Carmel, also, it would appear Elijah was staying 
when King Ahaziah sent fifty after fifty to apprehend 
him for his rebuke on his idolatrous quest after Baal- 


zebub the god of Ekron ; and here he '' caused fire to 
come down from heaven" and consume the first two 
companies (2 Kings i. 5—15). The word translated 
''an hill" (ver. 9) should be "the mount," and is 
always used for Carmel, and in connection with Elijah, 
for Carmel only. 

Carmel was also the residence of Elisha for a time 
(2 Kings ii. 25 ; iv. 25), and at this east end of the 
mount he was when the Shunamite's son died. Ijooking 
down from the height, he recognized her afar off, 
hurrying on her ass across the plain, and sent his 



servant to meet her. Up the hill she came, till, reach- 
ing the Prophet, she flung herself down and caught 
him by the feet — just as an Eastern will do to-day 
in distress — appealing foi- help. Nor w^ould she leave 
him till he arose and followed her (2 Kings iv. 22 — 30). 

The memory of Elijah's sacrifice rendered Carmel 
sacred even among the Greeks. Pythagoras retired 
here to meditate, and we are told that from one of the 
many caves at the western end he came down, when 
he saw a ship in the offing, and sailed for Egypt. The 
Emperor Yespasian, also, here consulted the oracle — 
probably at the place of Elijah's sacrifice, for we are 
told there was neither image nor temple, only an altar 
and sanctity. 

The western end of Carmel, so frequently visited by 
travellers, has no scriptural events attached to it, but 
is celebrated for its convent, whence sprung the 
" Carmelite," or " barefooted " friars, who have spread 
throughout Europe for centuries, and who still maintain 
themselves in this, the cradle of their Order, which was 
founded here during the Crusades by St. Louis of 
France. Edward I. of England was a lay brother of 
the Order. 

The common name of Carmel now is " Mar Elyas " 
(Elijah), though " Kurmul " is occasionally used. 

Beneath the western foot of Carmel is a narrow belt 
of plain, the great highway between Egypt and Assyria. 
Kound this hill Sennacherib's hosts marche'd from the 
passes of the Lebanon, whore they have left their 
tablets, to the siege of Ijachish ; and Pharaoh-Necho 
to Megiddo : to say nothing of Crusading armies, of the 
hosts of Saladin, and of Napoleon advancing to the 
siege of Acre. Al)ovo all, prol)abIy by this route Joseph 
brought the child Jesus and J lis mother to Nazareth, 
when, hearing that Arclielaus was king in Jerusalem, 
they " turned aside " to the parts of Galilee. 



(Jloso iinder tlic west shoulder of Carmel, on the 
noitli, at the south crescent of the l>ay of Acre, lies the 
modern seaport of Hhaift'a, or Caiffa, the Achsaph, 
prohtibly, of Joshua, which was a Canaanite city, taken 
by Thothmes III., whose king was smitten by Joshua 
(xi. 1, xii. 20), and which was afterwards allotted to 
Asher (xix. 24). Two miles out of it are the sculptures 
and ruins which mark the site of the Greek and Roman 


city of jSi/cammum, still overshadowed by the sycamine 
fig-trees whence it derived its name. It has frequently 
been identified with AchsapJt or Caiffa, which for a time 
it supplanted. It is now called Tell el Samak. 

Other frontier cities of Asher lying, probably, close 
under the northern slopes of Mount Carmel, are Helkath 
Ikdi and Beten (Josh. xix. 2-5). Helkath, also called 
Hukok (1 Chron. vi. 75) and Beten are both mentioned 
by Eusebius as being in this district. He states that 


Beten was eight Roman miles east of Ptolemais (Acre). 
This would point to the position of the modern village 
El Baneh, which is twelve miles east. Kh. 'Alier, a 
little to the south of this, has been suggested as the 
site of Hali. Yan de Velde proposes to identify Helkath 
with Yerka, a village eight and a half miles east of 
Acre. About six miles east of Hhaiffa, I discovered, 
close under Carmel, by a magnificent spring, indications 
of an old town which may have been one of these. But 
as " Asher continued on the sea-shore, and abode in his 
creeks " (Judg. v. 17), taking no part in the struggle of 
his brethren, absorbed in trade with the neighbouring 
PhcDenicians, the tribe is almost unnoticed in sacred 

Almmnelech (Josh. xix. 26) seems marked by the 
Wady el Malek, a little stream running into the 
Kishon, six miles inland from Hhaiffa. 

Five miles west of Wady el Malek, I examined a little 
mound with traces of ruins, on which some Bedouin 
were camped, called Un el "Amad, identical with the 
next city in the enumeration of Asher, Amad (Josh. 
xix. 26), the guttural \iin being preserved in the 
modern name. Thus the frontier between Asher and 
Issachar seems to have run along the low ridge which 
faintly separates the plains of Acre and Esdraelon. 
Mishealj the next frontier town of Asher, a Canaanite 
city taken by Thothmes III. in his invasion, has been 
identified by Conder with a ruin in the AYidy M'aisleh, 
eight miles north-east of Acre. 


issachar; and esdraelon, or the plain of jezreel 

Description of the Plain of Jezvcel or Esdraelon— Plain of Acre— Of Megiddo— 
Jezreel— Eastern part divided into three— Heritage of Issachar-n-Character 
of the region and of the tribe— Population— Tola— Baasha—Omri—En-gannim 
—/e/ir/i—Ibloam—Remeth— Jezreel— Ahab— Elijah— Jehu— Jezebel— Well of 
Ilarod— Fquritain of Jezreel— Mount Gilboa— Battle of Gilboa— Night Walk 
of Haul— Bethshean—8cythopolis—Z/'/srni— Ruins— View— Road to Egypt- 
Saul's Death— Decapol.s— T{ehol)—Zarthan— Beth-shittah— Abel-M eholah— 
iKnom— Salim— Meroz— Mi'/'/'.s.sY/i— Hill of Moreh— Little Herinon— /*;/>'/ 
7);,/,v/_Shunein — iS'if /*'/«— .Shunamito Woman — Shulaniite— Nain— Tombs— 
Iiindor— Caves— Chesulloth— fHiisloth-Tabor— 7/,'.«fy— Daberath— ./Ji'Mr/rA— 
Mount 'J'abor—Ruins—Vicw— History— Shihon—Kishion. 

Haying traced the northern boundaries of the hill 
country of Ephraim and Samaria to their western 
limits, including Mount Carmel, which, though in the 
territory of Asher, is geographically but an outlying 
extension of the hills of Ephraim, we come next to the 
great central Plain of Palestine, which may be said 
almost to bisect the country from east to west. The 
peculiar characteristics of the great plain, and its 
historical reminiscences, have been beautifully drawn 
out by Dean Stanley. It is a wide rent, scooped out 
for about twelve miles in width, in its narrowest parts, 
from north-west to south-east. It is, however, not one 
even plain, but, though always open, has slight un- 
dulations. Its watershed, which is a mere imperceptible 
rise, is at an irregular line drawn a little to the west of 
Mount Tabor and Gilboa. 

It may be divided into three parts: 1st. The coast 
plain, known as the riain of Acre, which has always 


been distinguished from the rest, cut off by the bold 
ridge of Carmel from the Plain of Sharon, and on the 
north-east off from the Phoenician Plain by a bold 
headland which pushes right into the sea from the 
Galilean hills, called Ras en Nakura. Eastward, it is 
separated from the great central plain by a low, 
sparsely-wooded ridge, through an opening at the south 
end of which, under Mount Carmel, the Kishon winds 
its tortuous way, and creeps to the sea. This part of 
the plain is also drained by the little classic stream of 
the Belus, and by the AVady Kurn. 

2nd. The central plain, more strictly that of Jezreel 
or Esdraelon, sometimes also the Valley of 2feyiddo, 
stretches to the south-east, commanded on its southern 
edge by Jolznemn^ Meglddo, Taanac]i, and En Gannim or 
Jenin, where it narrows to a point, and there is flanked 
on the east by the spurs of Mount Gilboa, Jezreel, and 
Little Jfennon, or Jebel Duhy, and on the north by 
Tdhor, the hills of Nazareth, and Sefurieh, or Bio- 

3rd. To the east three branches of the plain slope 
gently towards the Jordan, separated by nearly isolated 
ranges, rising out of the plain itself ; the southern 
portion lying between Jenin and Mount Gilboa, but not 
extending down to the Jordan Valley. The central 
portion, which is the true Plain of Jezreel, is a fine 
rolling slope of the greatest fertility, fenced on the south 
by Gilboa, at the eastern end of which Jkth-sJiean, Beisnn, 
commands tlio Jordan Valley, into which this plain 
imperceptibly blends, while it is separated from the 
northern brancli by tlie oblong ridge of Jebel Duhy, or 
Little ITermon. To the north of this, again, a tliird 
brancli of the plain stretclios eastward, opening to the 
west between Little Hermon and Mount Tabor, and 
drained toward the Jordan by Wady Bireli. On its 
southern skirt, on the edge of Little Hermon, or ,lebel 


Duliy, the Hill of Moreh, hang the villages of Nain and 

Nearly the wliolc of this rich plain was the heritage 
of Issacliar, according to the prophetic blessing, " Issa- 
cliar is a strong ass, crouching down between two 
burdens. And he saw that rest was good, and the land 
that it was pleasant ; and bowed his shoulder to bear, 
and became a servant unto tribute" (Gen. xlix. 14, 15). 
There is no part of the country, except the Plain of 
Sharon, that can vie with this district in fertility. Its 
wonderful natural productiveness is in striking contrast 
with the bare hill-sides of Manasseh, and especially with 
the grey, bleak rocks of Gilboa and Jebel Duhy. But 
with all its richness, there is no part of the land more 
neglected. No towns or villages, no solitary homesteads 
dot its deserted surface, except on its eastern edge. 
Very little of it is cultivated ; all is abandoned to the 
wandering Bedouin, who frequently plunder the crops 
of the hapless peasantry of the surrounding hills, and 
retreat across the Jordan with their booty, like the 
Midianites of old, " as grasshoppers (locusts) for 
multitude, and whose camels were without number." 

Issachar was one of the chief tribes at the time of 
the census, being third in number of fighting-men. But 
this pre-eminence was not maintained in after history, 
The very richness of their territory was the cause of the 
military weakness of the tribe — '' the seed-plot of God," 
as the name Jezreel signifies. So the prophecy of the 
Patriarch Jacob describes him ^' as a strong ass," i. e. 
the he-ass used for carrying burdens, "crouching down 
between two hedgerows," as it might rather be trans- 
lated ; quiet and stolid, devoted to agriculture, and 
willing rather to submit to the tribute imposed on him 
by the various marauding tribes which time after time 
invaded his plains and plundered his crops. The 
blessing of Moses adds, " Rejoice, Issachar, in thy 


tents" (Dent, xxxiii. 18), as though Issachar, submitting 
to the invader, should become not only submissive, but 
even " rejoicing '' in his nomad or semi-nomad life. 
From the time of his settlement he seems to have sunk 
into a sort of dependence on his brother-tribe in Zebu- 
lun, which lay immediately to the north, possessing the 
southern highlands of Galilee. 

Issachar possessed very few strongholds, and scarcely 
any of the heights commanding the great plain. Beth- 
shean, one of the strongest positions in the country, 
though topographically within its boundaries, was yet 
allotted to Manasseh. Tabor is shared with Zebulun. 

Once only did Issachar take a prominent part in the 
military achievements of Israel. This was when Deborah 
and Barak rallied the northern tribes to shake off the 
yoke of the northern Canaanite king, Jabin, and when so 
signal a victory was gained over Sisera by Barak, on the 
great Plain of Megiddo. 

One of the Judges was of the tribe of Issachar, Tola, 
the son of Perah ; of whom nothing further is recorded 
than that he judged, not in the defenceless plain, but in 
Shamir in Mount Ephraim, the future Samaria, quite 
outside the limits of his own tribe (Judg. x. 1). 

In the time of David the population of Issachar had 
increased threefold since the enumeration in the wilder- 
ness by Moses. It has been observed, that of the 145,600 
soldiers reckoned by Joab, 36,000 are said to be " bands" 
(1 Chron. vii. 4), a term applied only to freebooters and 
wandering nomads, and especially to the tribe of Gad 
across Jordan ; thus pointing out that Issachar had 
begun to *' rejoice in tents." Wo read, too (1 Chron, 
xii. 32), that the heads of Issachar '' were men that had 
understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought 
to do," implying either their skill in political <lii)lomacy, 
or, as the liab})is interpret it, in th(^ lvn()wl(Ml<;(» of 
astronomy and the signs of tho heavens. 


More tlian one dynasty of the kings of Israel sprung 
from this tribe. Baasha, the son of Ahijah, who by 
tr(Mison and ranrdor supjilantod the son of Jeroboam on 
the throne, was of Issaehar ; and it seems probable that 
Omri, the father of Ahab, who set up his capital in 
Ramaria, as Tola had ruled there before, was also of 
this tribe. 

Once again, and only once, does the tribe of Issaehar 
appear in history, when a multitude of their people 
assembled at the invitation of Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxx, 
18), to keep the Passover of the Lord in Jerusalem, 
showing that there were many, even thus far north, who 
had yet maintained their allegiance to Jehovah. 

Taking the inheritance of Issaehar as given in Joshua 
(xix. 17 — 22), there are but fourteen cities there enu- 
merated, but several others occur in subsequent history, 
The extreme southern point of the possessions of the 
tribe was E^i-gannwi (Josh. xix. 21), which appears 
among the places taken by Thothmes III., on the direct 
road between Samaria and Jezreel, on the very edge of 
the Plain of Jezreel, l)ut itself in the hills. The name 
signifies "fountain of gardens," and modern Jenin, a 
thriving little town, just where a spreading valley opens 
into the plain. The hills rise behind it ; round it are a 
considerable belt of rich gardens, with fine orange and 
citron trees, and, here and there, a tall palm waving 
over them. It is the first place where the traveller 
from Shechem meets the palm in any numbers. There 
is an excellent spring, from which the place derives its 
name, which bursts from the hills behind, and the water 
of which is conveyed in an aqueduct to the town and 
also distributed to the gardens. En-gannim was allotted 
to the Gershonite Levites (Josh. xxi. 29), and is called 
Ginma by Josephus. It is once again mentioned (2 
Kings ix. 27) under the translated form, "by the way 
of the garden-house," when Ahaziah fled towards ^n- 



gannim (the Garden-house) from Jehu. Finding the 
road too steep for escape in his chariot, he turned 
towards the edge of the plain, westward, and, while at 
the ascent of Gur, by Ibleam, he was mortally wounded, 
and, skirting along the foot of the hills, reached Megiddo, 
where he died. 

No modern name reveals to us the precise locality of 
the ascent of Gur, but it must have been one of the steep 
hills between Jezreel and En-gannim. Ibleam, w^iich was 
near it, an ancient Canaanite city, which yielded before 
the Exodus to Thothmes III., as it did afterwards to 
Shishak, appears to be identical with Bileam (1 Chron. vi. 
70). The name is Jbo be traced in the modern wady of 
Jklameh, about two miles south of Jenin. The principal 
l*oad through Palestine runs up the wady in which are 
the ruins. Though in the territory of Issachar, it 
belonged to Manasseh (Judg. i. 27), but continued long 
to l)e held by the Canaanites. Dr. Thomson and Lt.- 
Col. Conder are inclined to doubt the identity of Bileam 
and Ibleam, and suggest for the latter Yebla, a ruined 
village five miles north-west of Bethshean. A remark- 
able instance of the persistency of ancient names is found 
in Beit Kad, a small village three miles east of Jenin. 
Beit Kad is the Ara])ic for JktJi-Kked, i. e. '' the shearing- 
house," as it is rendered in our version (2 Kings x. 12), 
and was so identified by Jerome. 

Near En-gannim also, we must place liemefh, or Ramoth, 
Rupi)osed by some to be a rocky hillock rising in the 
middle of a green plain, buried among the hills between 
Jenin and Samaria, 5^ miles north of the latter, and now 
called Rameh. There is also Jarmuth, a city of Issachar, 
assigned to the Gershonito Levites (Josh. xxi. 29), 
possibly another name for licmeth ; but no satisfactory 
identification has yet boon made. There are traces of 
anticpiity a})out Mo/er, on the west face of Mount Gilboa, 
which suggest that it was a city of Issachar, ami from 


il\o order in which ]lomoth stands in Joshua, they 
lH)ssibly may be identical. 

Passintr from Jentn, a little over six miles to the 
north, we reach Zer'in, the modern representative of 
Jezreel. We rise from the plain and ascend a low spur, 
which seems to stretch forward as an outpost of Mount 
(Jilhoa into the plain — a projecting knoll of rising 
ground, covered with a few flat-topped huts and a square 
tower of evident antiquity, with fresh verdure all around ; 
but not a tree or shrub. Of the once capital of Israel 
not a vestige remains, though the situation is lovely. 
The very ruins have crumbled from desolate heaps to 
flat turf-clad hillocks. Many old sarcophagi, or marble 
coflins, lay strewn about, some converted into horse- 
troughs, and several richly sculptured with the figures of 
the crescent-moon, the symbol of Ashtoreth, the goddess 
of the Zidonians ; but these are the only relics of the 
ancient beauty of Jezreel. There are also wine-presses 
hewn in the rock. Its situation explains why it was 
chosen as a royal residence. On the east side it has a 
defensil)le steep rocky descent of at least 100 feet, and 
from its tower there is a commanding view north, east, 
and west. For miles the route from the Jordan by 
Bethshean can be traced, by which, after dashing up 
round the knoll of Bethshean, Jehu urged on his hoi-ses 
over the smooth plain, as he drove from Ramoth-Gilead. 
On the other side the plain is in view past Taanach and 
Megiddo, as far as Carmel. Eight and a half miles north- 
west of Jenin, the village 'Anin in the mountains pro- 
bably marks the site of Anem (1 Chron. vi. 73), the 
extreme southern boundary of Issachar. 

The importance of Jezreel was limited to the reigns of 
Ahab and his son. Ahab selected it as his favourite 
residence, without deserting altogether Samaria as the 
political capital. Here he erected his palace and built his 
*' ivory house," its inner walls, probably, panelled or 


veneered with ivory ; and here Jezebel lived after his 
death. At Jezreel she maintained a grove and temple 
of Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Zidonians, with 
her 400 priests. From the watch-tower any marauding 
parties coming from the other side Jordan could be 
descried. But it is the sad story of Naboth which is 
most forcibly brought before our mind as we stand on 
the mounds of Jezreel. The royal grounds most pro- 
ba})ly have stretched down the hill. Then to the east 
is the little valley, where was the plot, the patrimony of 
Naboth, on the way up to the city. There Elijah met 
the king and rebuked him to his face in the hearing of 
Jehu and Bidkar (1 Kings xxi. 17), and there the retri- 
bution of the father's crime fell on the equally criminal 
son, when Jehu encountered Joram and Ahaziah on the 
very spot. Joram fell at once ; Ahaziah fled, only to 
receive his death-wound on the hill going up to Ibleam 
and to die at Megiddo. It was on the east si<le, also, 
that Jezebel looked out of the window and taunted 
Jehu (2 Kings ix. 34). Here was an open space such 
as is found by the gate of all Eastern cities, where the 
labourers wait to ])e hired, where the laden camels 
collect, and where the pariah dogs, the scavengers of 
the streets, prowl about. In this open space Jezebel 
was flung from the window and was soon devoured by 
the dogs. 

Jezreel disappears from liistory witli the fall of the 
house of Ahab and the destruction of the idolatrous 
temple by Jehu ; and the later prophets speak of Jezreel 
as synonymous with that wicktMl house, and as sharing 
their fortunes (Hos. i. 4, 11). It has been conjectured 
tliat tlie tower of Jezreel was the Mhjdol near which 
Herodotus tells us the army of Pliaraoli-Necho was (Mi- 
cainpod l)ofoi"o tlie l)attle with Josiali at Megiddo. 

About a mile east of »lezreel a lino fountain, gushing 
from the rocks which form the b:ise of Mount Gilboa, 


supplies a pool of clciir water, fifty feet in diameter, 
more than once mentioned in history as the Well of 
JIantd, by which Gideon and his army encamped before 
their victory over the Midianites. Here the captain 
tested his men by their method of drinking, and at this 
pool there is space for a large number to drink together. 

The name "Harod" means "trembling," and seems 
to have been given in memory of the panic which seized 
the Midianites. It was also known as the '' Fountain of 
JezreeV (1 &)am. xxix. 1), where Saul was encamped 
before the battle of Gilboa, and is now known as A in 
Jalud, perhaps a corruption of Gilead, which seems from 
Judges vii. 3 to have been an ancient name of Mount 
Gilboa. There was a tradition, given by Josephus, that 
trliis was the pool where Naboth and his sons were 
murdered, and where dogs licked the blood of Ahab. 
That, however, must rather have been at Samaria. 

We are now at the foot of Mou7it Gilboa, famous as 
the scene of Saul's great defeat by the Philistines, and 
of his death, and that of Jonathan, which wrung from 
David the touching lament, " Ye mountains of Gilboa, 
let there be no dew, neither let there be rain upon you, 
nor fields of offerings ; for there the shield of the 
mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though 
he had not been anointed with oil" (2 Sam. i. 21). And 
Gilboa is still a barren, bleak, and desolate range. It 
is about ten miles long, and not more than 500 or 600 
feet above the plain, reaching from near Jezreel in the 
west to Bethshean at the eastern extremity. It separ- 
ates the southern Plain of Jezreel from the central 
portion which slopes between Gilboa and Little Hermon, 
to the Valley of the Jordan, and is now know^n as Jebel 
Fukii'a. On the top of the mountain, at the east end, 
a village called Jelbon preserves the old name of Gilboa. 
On the top, at the western end, is the village of Wezar, 
entirely peopled by Mohammedan dervishes, a colony 


which recalls the old cities of the priests in the Mosaic 

The battle of Gilboa was fought on the northern 
slopes of the mountain. The Philistines had collected 
their army at SJtunem, now Salem, under the hill 2[oreh 
(Little Hermon), on the opposite side of the middle 
portion of the eastern plain (1 Sam. xxviii. 4), and 
pitched in Aj)hek (xxix. 1), probably the Aphek 
mentioned among the conquests of Thothmes III., con- 
jecturally identified by Conder with Fukii'a, a village 
on the south side of the crest of Gilboa, six miles south- 
east of Ain Jalud ; while Saul gathered the troops of 
Israel opposite to them at the Fountain of Jezreel (xxix. 
1) — the same as the sjjring Ilarod of Gideon, and per- 
haps selected in memory of that glorious day for Israel 
— under the north-western brow of Gilboa. It was an 
ill-chosen battle-field with the enemy at Shunem. 
Close behind Saul were the steep sides of the mountain, 
affording no opportunity of falling back or of retreat in 
case of defeat. Both flanks were completely exposed to 
the Philistine attack, while these also had the advantage 
of a gentle descent all the way from Shunem to the camp 
of Israel. During the night before the battle, Saul, ill 
at ease, went in secret to consult the witch of Endor, 
feeling that God had forsaken him. But she resided 
just in the rear of the Philistine camp. The king, 
therefore, must have crossed the plain to the east, and, 
making a detonr round the eastern base, or climbing the 
eastern shoulder of tlie hill of Mori'h (Jebel Duhy), 
descended upon Endor, where, appalled by the appearance 
of Samuel's spirit, he heard the doom of his house and 

Next morning tlie Philistines made their onslaught. 
Saul, oppressed with gloomy forebodings, soon found tlio 
warning of Samuel true. The ranks of Israel were 
broken. They fell back on the steep sides of the 


mountain, and were cut down with a terrible carnage. 
" The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places " 
(2 Ham. i. 19). " O Jonathan, thou wast slain upon thy 
high places " (ver. 25), " as though the bitterness of 
death and defeat were aggravated by being, not on the 
broad and hostile plain, but on their own familiar and 
friendly mountains." On the mountain next day were 
found by the victors the bodies of Saul and his three 
sons, for they had evidently made a stand to the last, 
though the mass of the fugitives would fly down the 
valley to the Jordan. It was not far for the Philistines 
to take the corpses to JJethshean, a city still held by 
them, and there, with every indignity, they exposed the 
decapitated bodies till they were carried off by the men 
of Jabesh. 

Bethshean was one of the most important places in 
this part of the country, and maintained its pre-eminence 
for many ages. Its natural position is very peculiar 
and one of great strength. The citadel stood on a spur 
of limestone rock, forming a singularly rounded flat- 
topped hill, in shape like the crater of some extinct 
volcano. This bluff projects boldly, as if an outwork, 
beyond the east end of Gilboa, commanding the Jordan 
Yalley, rising almost perpendicularly 300 feet above it, 
and leaving a strip of rich luxurious plain, rather more 
than three miles wide, before the river is reached. But 
the old city was not confined to the " tell " on which 
its fortress stood. The ruins extend over a surface of 
three miles. The spot is not only in shape a miniature 
Gibraltar, it is marvellously favoured by nature in 
other respects. No less than four perennial streams 
flow through the ancient city, dividing it into quarters. 
The river Jezreel, draining the northern slopes of Gilboa, 
fringed with caves and shaded by oleanders (" willows 
by the water-com*ses "), washes the northern side of the 
citadel hill ; another stream, fed from the eastern slopes 


of Gilboa, washes the south side, and then unites with 
the Jezreel under the citadel to the east. The old town 
extended further to the south, and two other little 
streams rush down from the hills, almost parallel to 
each other, through a labyrinth of Greek and Koman 
ruins, and water also the modern village. The ruins 
surpass any other in Western Palestine. There are 
several noble Roman bridges over the Jezreel, two of 
them still tolerably perfect ; a very fine amphitheatre, 
180 feet in diameter, with its seats, corridors, and dens 
for wild beasts all entire ; a large Saracenic khan, with 
arches and pavements, and columns of black basalt and 
white limestone alternating ; many Roman temples, of 
which moi'e than twenty tall columns are still standing 
erect, belonging to four or five sumptuous edifices. 
There is also a fine Greek cathedral, which has been 
converted inth a mosque, but now is a deserted ruin, 
nearly roofless ; and on the crest are the ruins of the 
more modern citadel, built from the remains of older 
buildings, with beautiful marble columns, richly-carved 
capitals and friezes built into the walls, now in its turn 
a ruin. The startling contrast between ancient civiliz- 
ation and modern degradation appears nowhere more 
forcibly than in the wretched huts of the modern village, 
like Hottentot ki'aals, made of earth and stone. " How 
are the mighty fallen ! " 

The view from the keep of Bethshean is one of the 
finest in the Jordan Valley, with the rich plain, and the 
river winding through its centre, for the foreground ; the 
ruins of Pdla, on the lieights opposite across the river ; 
the ravine of the Jabesh, with the oak forests where 
stood Jahef^h (/Head beyond, and then the whole range 
of Gilead, Mount Ajalon, and Mount (Jilead, as far as 
the hills of Moab ; while to the north the view extends 
past the load up from the Jordan and Jezreel, where 
Jehu drove, till Hermon towers in the diwtance, and the 



]ioi<,dits of Baslian fill up the range between H'ermon 
and CJilead. 

Bethsliean lay in the line of the ancient road between 
])amascus and Egypt. Hence the magnificent cara- 
vanserai, now in ruins, which has been mentioned. It 
was the road by which the Ishmaelites went down into 
Egypt, when they purchased Joseph of his brethren. 
The road crossed the Jordan, coming down from 
Damascus by way of Gadara, at the bridge below the 
Sea of Galilee, then by the plain to Bethshean ; thence 
it crossed the shoulder of Gilboa at the village of Jelbon, 
and to En-gannim and Dothan. 

Bethshean, though in the territory of Issachar, was 
assigned to Manasseh as a frontier outpost. But it 
remained Canaanite for centuries. Manasseh could 
not drive them out (Judg. i. 27). The Canaanites 
remained to the days of Saul, perhaps as a colony of 
the Philistines ; for when they exposed the bodies of 
Saul and his sons after the battle of Gilboa, they hung 
up their armour as trophies in the idol temple, called 
in 1 Sam. xxxi. 10 "the house of Ashtoreth," while 
they fastened Saul's head in the temple of Dagon 
(1 Chron. x. 10). Bethshean was the chief of one of 
Solomon's districts, extending up the valley (1 Kings 
iv. 12), but it is not again mentioned in the Old 
Testament. It fell before Shishak in his invasion. In 
the Apocrypha it is called the Bethshean, and also 
ScythoxJolis, or city of the Scythians, the name given it 
by the Syrian Greeks, perhaps from a colony, like the 
Egyptian colony which now inhabits it. 

Scythopolis was the chief of the ten cities of Decapolis^ 
in the New Testament (Matt. iv. 28 ; Mark v. 20, and 
xvii. 31), and was the only one of the great Boman 
districts which lay west of Jordan. These ten cities 
had special privileges and immunities granted them by 
the Bomans, and were all of great wealth. They were 



Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadar'a, Pella, Philadelphia (or 
Rabbath Ammon), Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Damascus, 
and Raphana, one of the conquests of Thothmes III. 
Others omit Damascus, and insert Abila, the head of the 
tetrarchy of Abilene. Of all these cities (excluding 
Damascus) seven are utterly desolate, and without in- 
habitants, and only three, Scythopolis, Gadara, and 
Canatha, have a feAV wretched families, living at Gadara 
in tombs, and in the others in the most miserable of 
huts and caves. 

With the splendour of Scythopolis its memory has 
passed away. The name of Scythopolis has long since 
been forgotten, and the old name of ])eth><hean, sup- 
pressed for centuries, alone survives in the modern 
Beisan, by which the ruins and the hovels are now 

Many places incidentally mentioned in the Old Test- 
ament must have been very near Bethshean, though 
it is difficult to identify some of them. Gath Rimmon 
(Josh. xxi. 25) was a city of Manasseh assigned to the 
Levites. In 1 Chron. vi. 70, Ulleam is substituted, and 
the Septuagint reads Bethshan. This could not be 
Bethshean, and is probably identical with , Ibleam 
(p. 266). 

All the way from Bethshean to Succoth, each " tell " 
is covered with ancient traces. Behab, four miles south 
of it, recalls JleJioh, taken by Shishak, of which name 
there were several places mentioned in Joshua. It is a 
collection of grass-grown mounds on a low "tell" or pro- 
jecting hillock. Some identify it with the " Kehob, as 
men come to Hamath," which the spies sent by Moses 
reached (Numb. xiii. 21). It seems probable that the 
route taken by the spies lay in this direction, but that 
Kehob was probal)ly higher up, tlie Beth-Behob near 
liaish or Dan (Judg. xviii. 28). 'J'liere were also other 
Behobs iu tlio territory of Asher. 


" Zavtanah beneath Jezreel" (1 Kings iv. 12) is men- 
tioned as one of Solomon's commissariat districts close 
to Bethshean, and would appear to be the same place as 
Zarthan (1 Kings vii. 46), and perhaps also as ZereratJt, 
one of the places past which the Midianite hordes fled 
from Oideon (Judg. vii. 22). The name lingers in Ain 
Zalu-ah and Tullfil Zahrah, three miles west of Beisan, 
indicating that Zartanah was the name of a district 
rather than a place. (See p. 236.) 

Beth-shittah, i. e. " the house of the acacia," is men- 
tioned in the same passage (Judg. vii. 22) as the first 
place past which the Midianites fled. Now as we know 
the battle began very near the spring of Jezreel, where 
Gideon encamped, we can hardly question the identifica- 
tion of Beth-shittah with Shutta, an existing village in 
the marshy plain, about half-way between the spring 
and Bethshean. The remains of antiquity are many 
grass-covered mounds. 

They next fled to " the border of Abel-Meholah," 
i. e. " the meadow of the dance," a place mentioned 
(1 Kings iv. 12) as near Bethshean, and where Elisha 
resided, till he was called by Elijah from his father's 
oxen (1 Kings xix. 16). The place remained to Jerome's 
time as Abelmea, in the Jordan Valley, eight miles from 
Bethshean, where is now a spot called Ain Helweh, and 
a trace of the name may perhaps linger in the neigh- 
bouring Wady Maleh. When we observe that the next 
place to which the Midianites fled was Tahhath, which 
has been most probably identified with Tubukhat-Fahil, 
a bold terrace on the east side of Jordan, on which stand 
the ruins of PeUa, I think we may conjecture Ahel- 
Melwlah to be the rich meadow land which extends 
about four miles south of Bethshean, moist and luxu- 
riant, with the mounds of a ruined town on a knoll 
above, called by the Arabs Tell el Ma'ajerah. 

If we follow the account in Judges vii. of the flight 


of the Midianites, we see that Gideon, after clearing 
the Bethshean valley of the invaders, crossed the Jordan 
near y^uccoth, while a part of the Midianites, cut off by 
this manoeuvre, fled down the west side, intending to 
cross by the lower fords near Jericho. Here they were 
intercepted by the men of Ephraim, summoned from the 
highlands by Gideon's messengers, and " they slew Oreb 
upon the rock Cheh^ and Zeeb they slew at the winepress 
of Zeeh, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to 
Gideon on the other side Jordan^' (ver. 25). In the 
situation required by the narrative, down the Jordan 
Valley, overlooking the broad plain north of Jericho 
is a sharp peak, still known as Ash el Ghorab, " the 
Raven's, or Oreb's peak." Two miles north-west of 
this is a wady and mound, known as Tuwayl el Diab, 
*' the Wolf's Den," Oreb and Zeeb being simply the 
Hebrew words for raven and wolf. The Bedouin leaders 
to this day commonly select as their cognomen the 
name of some savage or predatory animal. As the 
rock and winepress of Oreb and Zeeb were on the west 
side of Jordan, there is every reason to accept this 

Passing now up from the Jordan Valley and Beth- 
shean, to the north-eastern borders of Issachar, we 
^averse the rich unbroken plain which gently slopes 
down to the river. There is not a tree ; but the rolling 
downs, with a [fat loamy soil, develop, as they slope 
eastward, into wadys which convey streamlets to the 
Jordan. There are several ruined villages, the grass- 
grown sites of which are marked afar by a deeper green 
than clothes the rest of the downs. One of these, 
ahuost the most prominent, is called Murussas, about 
four miles north-west of JJethshoaii, near the foot of 
one of the southern slopes of tlie liills which spread 
out from Little Hermon (Jebel Duhy) and from the 
northern watershed of tliis section of the plain. It 


would command the passage from the Plain of Jezreel 
to the Jordan, and I am satisfied, by careful investiga- 
tion, that this place marks the site of Me?'OPj, whose 
inhabitants refused to take part with Barak against 
Sisera. They might have intercepted the fugitives in 
their flight ; hence, therefore, the denunciation of 
Deborah, *' Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, 
curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof ; because they 
came not to the help of the Lord against the mighty " 
(Judg. V. 23). The curse has been fulfilled. In the 
midst of the richest pasturage of Issachar, the place 
has long since perished and left but a name. 

A little north of Meroz is a large village, till recently 
inhabited, Kefrah, with many ruins : and on a beetling 
brow overhanging the Jordan, three miles north-east 
of Kefrah, are the ruins of Belvoir Castle, the finest 
Crusading remains in Palestine, but with no previous 

The Hill of Moreh (Judg. vii. 1), already mentioned, 
known by travellers as " Little Hermon," and by the 
natives as Jebel Duhy, though but once mentioned in 
Scripture, is an important feature in the topography of 
the plain. On its south slope, facing Jezreel and the 
Well of Harod, the Midianites were encamped against 
Gideon ; and almost the same position was taken up by 
the Philistines before the battle of Gilboa. It is of 
much less extent than Gilboa, running for a few miles 
from north-west to south-east, and separating the 
central and northern branches of the eastern part of 
the great plain. 

At the foot of the Mount, on the south-west corner, 
stands the village of Sulem, the ancient SJiunem, a town 
of Issachar, lying on the great military route from 
Egypt to Syria, taken in Canaanitish days by Thothmes 
III., and again in Israelitish times by Shishak ; twice 
mentioned in subsequent history ; once as the camping- 


place of the Philistines before the battle of Gilboa, but 
chiefly as the home of the hostess of Elisha. This was 
the village where the great lady of the place recognized 
the hallowed character of the wandering Prophet, and 
had the chamber on the wall made for him. Contented 
wdth her lot, dwelling among her own people, the only 
thing wanting to complete her happiness was a son. 
The blessing was granted. Round Sulem we may still 
see those cornfields, the richest in the country, where the 
boy went out to his father to the reapers, and was 
struck dowm by sunstroke. To Carmel, right in view 
for many miles, the great plain stretches, and across it 
the bereaved mother rode, and returned with the man of 
God to receive back her son, thus doubly a gift from 
heaven (2 Kings iv. 8 — 37). The distance from Shunem 
to Carmel, in a straight line, is more than twenty 

There are no remains at Sulem, but the gardens are 
most rich, and the village flourishing, partially defended 
by great cactus hedges. Shunem w^as also the native 
place of Abishag, the beautiful wife of David in his 
old age j and as Sulem and Shunem are identical, there 
is some reason to believe that the fair Shulamite of 
Cant. vi. 13 refers to the same person. 

The track from Shunem passes close under the 
western bluff of Little Hermon, and as the corner is 
turned, the first view of Tabor is caught standing 
grandly forth, an even, rounded cone, into the plain, 
almost isolated, with a background of undulating forest- 
clad hills. Behind it stands out the snow-white peak 
of Hermon, towering to the skies. "Tabor and Hermon 
shall rejoice in Thy name." 

As soon as we have turned the angle of the hill, 
looking north, wo are in tlie little village of j\\iiu. Its 
situation is bleak and bare, but there are few places 
even in this laud of hallowed associations more interest- 



ing than Nain. The name is still unchanged. It 
stands on the slope of the hill. A little above it, both 
on the east and west sides, are many tombs hewn out 
of the rocks. About ten minutes' walk to the east of 
it is the principal burying-place, still used, and pro- 
bably on this very path our Lord met the sorrowing 
procession (Luke vii. 11 — 18). A few oblong piles of 
stones, and one or two small built graves with whitened 
plaster, mark the unfenced spot just below the old 
tombs. Nain must have been " a city " ; the ruined 
heaps and traces of wails prove that it was of consider- 
able extent and a ivalled town, and therefore with gates, 
according to the Gospel narrative, though it is not 
mentioned in the Old Testament. It has now shrunk 
into a miserable Moslem village, i. e. a few houses of 
mud and stone, with flat earth roofs and doors three 
feet high, sprinkled here and there, without order, 
among the wreck of former and better days. All 
around is bare and forbidding, as though it had not 
known the time of its visitation, and therefore its 
houses had been left to it desolate. To the west of the 
village, just outside the traces of the wall, is an ancient 
well or cistern. Fountains never change, and the ex- 
istence of this one is, doubtless, the cause of the place 
remaining partially inhabited. 

About two and a half miles further north-west, still 
on the slope of the hill, is Endur, the ancient Endor, 
within the territory of Issachar, but assigned to 
Manassch (Josh. xvii. 11). "The spring of Dor," from 
which the place takes its name, trickles from a natui-al 
cave just above the village, and is unfailing, though 
small. Endor was long renowned as one of the places 
marked iu the defeat of the (janaanitcs by I>arak, where 
some of tlieir cliiofs were slain : " Who perished jit 
Endor" (l*s. Ixxxiii. 10). iJnt it is chiefly known as 
the scene of Saul's interview with the witch the night 


before tlie fatal rout of Gilboa, when the king walked 
over the shoulder of the Mount from the spring of 
Jezreel, a distance of eight or nine miles, to consult 
her (1 Sam. xxviii. 7 — 25). The place has a strange, 
weird-like aspect — a miserable village without a tree or 
shrub to relieve the squalor of its decaying heaps. It 
is full of caves, and the mud-built hovels are stuck on 
to the sides of the rocks in clusters, and are, for the 
most part, a mere enlargement or continuation of the 
cavern behind, which forms the larger part of this 
human den. There are many caves around, with crum- 
bling heaps at their mouths, the remains of what were 
once other habitations. 

Abez is named (Josh. xix. 20) as a town of Issachar 
in this neighbourhood. The name is possibly a corrup- 
tion of Thehez, and seems marked by Bir Tebes, little 
more than a mile north-west of Nain, where, as the 
name implies, there is still a well. 

Hence we proceed north for three miles across the 
plain towards Nazareth, and at the foot of the hills 
reach the village of Iksal, identified with Chisloth-Tahor 
(Josh. xix. 12), which was in the border of Issachar and 
Zebulun, and seems to be the same as the Cltestdloth 
(Josh. xix. 20) in the territory of Issachar. Josephus 
calls it Xaloth, whence the modern Iksal. It is the 
place given next after Daherath, and can scarcely, there- 
fore, be fixed in any other spot. There are some ruins 
of considerable importance here : an old square fortress 
with strong vaulted chambers and halls quite perfect, 
sarcophagi, and what is apparently an old Roman altar of 
black basalt. 

Turning to the east, along the boundary of Issachar 
and Zebulun, by the edge of the plain, in about four 
miles we reach Duburieh, the ancient Daberath, a border 
city of Issachar, assigned to the Levites (Josh. xix. 12 ; 
xxi. 28). It is now a small but, comparatively, thriving 



village, with several Protestant familes, the fruits of the 
English Church Mission. 

Daberath rises at the foot of Mount Tahor, now Jebel 
et Tur, which was shared between the two tribes, one of 
the most striking and celebrated movintains of the Holy- 
Land. It is not lofty, only 1400 feet above the plain, 
which here is 500 feet above the sea ; but its peculiarly 
isolated position, standing out into the plain completely 


severed from the bank of Galilean hills behind it, its 
remarkable symmetry of form and graceful outline, its 
wooded slopes in a land where timber is so scarce, its 
shaded leafy glades, have won for it universal admira- 
tion. "As Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel 
by the sea" (Jer. xlvi. 18). **The north and the south, 
'I'liou hast created them ; Tabor and Hermon shall n^joico 
in Thy name " (Ps. Ixxxix. 12). 

The ascent to the top of Tabor is not dithcult, and 


on its summit is a flattened platform, strewn with ruins 
of considerable importance, but now utterly uninhabited. ^ 
Tliere are walls, and great bevelled stones, Jewish and 
Ivoman, and the arches and loopholes of later fortifica- 
tions built by the Crusaders, who erected a strong 
castle here, as well as churches and a monastery. 
There are also many cisterns, and generally abundance 
of water. The popular belief has made this the scene 
of the Transfiguration ; but this must be rejected, as 
that wondrous event probably took place on Mount 
Hermon, near Csesarea Philippi. 

The view from the summit gives the best idea of this 
part of Palestine. All the Plain of Esdraelon is spread 
like a map before us, from the Mediterranean past the 
ridge of Carmel, a vast expanse of green, to Jebel Duhy, 
with Nain and Endor in front and Mount Gilboa peering 
out behind them ; then the slope down to the Yalley of 
the Jordan by Bethshean, and the river for many miles 
up, till the eye rests on the Sea of Galilee, the south 
part of which is shut out from view, and the dark walls 
of the mountains of Gilead stretching far away. To 
the north the Horns of Hattin stand out over the 
hidden Plain of Gennesareth, and beyond is the high 
table-land of Bashan, as far as the rugged Hauran, 
while over Hattin towers the snowy peak of Hermon, 
and to the north-east the southern roots of Lebanon 
stretch to the sea. 

Tabor is supposed to be alluded to in the prophetic 
blessing by Moses of the two tribes. " They shall call 
the people unto the mountain, there they shall offer 
sacrifices of righteousness" (Deut. xxxiii. 19), and it 
has been conjectured that this was a sanctuary of the 
Northern tribes. It appears afterwards to have been 
devoted to idolatrous rites. " Judgment is toward you, 

^ This was in 1871. Now, 1896, a large and ugly monastic build- 
ing has been erected on the summit, and the wood has all been 
cleared away. 


because ye have been a snare on Mizpeh, and a net 
spread upon Tabor" (Hos. v. 1). Whether it were a 
centre of worship, however, or not, it was a rallying- 
phice in military operations. Here Barak, at the com- 
mand of Deborah, mustered the warriors of Zebulun 
and Naphtali (Judg. v. 6). Here Zeba and Zalmunna, 
the Midianite chiefs, slew the brethren of Gideon 
(Judg. viii. 18). Tabor is not mentioned in the New 
Testament, but was a fortress of importance. It was 
held by Antiochus in the wars of the Maccabees, and 
in the Koman times was strengthened by Josephus. 

Shahazimalt (Josh. xix. 22) and Jieth-sJieinesh {id.) 
ai'e given as two other frontier towns between Tabor 
and the Jordan ; but the names do not appear to have 
been preserved among the numerous ruined sites in 
the Wady Bireh, where they must have stood. Lt.-Col. 
Conder identifies one of these ruins still called El Bireh 
with a name in the list of Thothmes. Shihon, only 
mentioned in the list of Joshua, may probably be repre- 
sented by Ayun es Sh'ain, a small village near Deburiyeh, 
mentioned in the Talmud, called Seon by Jerome, and 
identified by him with Shihon, near Tabor. 

llaphraini, one of the places taken by Shishak, men- 
tioned in his list next to Shunem, is probably repre- 
sented by the little village of El Afuleh, two miles west 
of Shunem, in the plain, and which in the Arabic is much 
closer to the Hebrew name than in the English trans- 
lation. It is not noticed again in history. Farriyeh, 
six miles north of Lejjun, has been proposed, but seems 
too far west. Haphraim was one of the places taken by 
Shishak. Uahh'tth is identified with the modern Kabas, 
on the soutlieru slope of (jlil))oa. It occurs in tlio list 
of Tliothines III., and was also taken ))y Sliishak. 
Audhdroth is represented by tlic modern Kn N'aurah, 
situated in tlie pin in, wliero the context would nMpiiro 
it. It was one of Thothmes' conquests. 

Of A'is/n'on, a town given to the Gershonito Levites 



(Josh. xix. 20), notliing whatever is known. Kishon 
(ch. xxi. 28) is the same as Kishion, and in 1 Chron. 
vi. 72, Kedesh is substituted for it. This was possibly 
the Kedesh named along with Megiddo and Jokneam 
of Carmel, as places whose kings were slain by Joshua 
(ch. xii. 22). It seems to be the ancient ruined site 
Tell Kedes, near El Lejjfin, in the Plain of Esdraelon, 
one of the places taken by Thothmes III. The name of 
Kishion remains in a low mound, with a well by it, indi- 
cating an ancient place on the Plain of Acre, about six 
miles south-west of that port, and still called Tell Kison. 
The last two towns given in the catalogue of Issachar, 
and therefore probably on its western boundary, are 
En-IIaddah and Beth-Pazzoz, both of which are lost, 
unless the former be represented by Ain-Haud, about 
two miles from the sea, north-west of Carmel. This, 
however, seems rather beyond the boundary of Issachar. 
Lieut. -Col. Conder has proposed a much more satisfactory 
identification in Kefr Adan, a village three miles west of 






Upper Galilee— Boundaries of Zebulun— Prophetic blessings of Zebulun — 
Character of its jjeople — Natural features of the countrj' — Achievements 
in war — Galilee — Boundaries of Galilee — IdaJnh — Shliaron — Naludal — 
Japhia — Yafa — Ndznreth — Nazirah — Chai'acter of the country round — Brow 
of the hill — Mount of Precipitation — Fountain of Nazareth — Head-dress of 
the women— Pai-able of Ten Pieces of Silver — Trade— Population— View 
from above Nazareth— Towns of Zebulun — BetJdehcni — Sipphor'ti^ — Bio- 
cd'sarca — Sefurieh — Oma — KefrKenna — Gath-hcphfr — El Meshhad— Jonah's 
Tomb — Rommoii — Katlatli — Kana el Jelil — Zehvhin — Abilin — Jiphtah — 
Jotapata — Jefat — Aijalon — Jalun — Hannatlion — Deir Hannah — Hattin— 
Beth-arhd — Irbid — Robber caves. 

While the Lower Galilee of the New Testament times 
corresponded pretty nearly with the old tribe of Issachar, 
Upper Galilee comprised all the mountainous region 
north of the Plain of Esdraelon, which was the original 
portion of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. The 
line between Issachar and Zebulun ran along the base 
of the Galilean hills which fringe the great plain to the 
north. Zebulun, we are told by Josephus, stretched 
from the Lake of Gennesareth, its eastern limit, as far 
as Mount Carmel and the sea. The frontier between 
it and Naphtali seems to have run down to the little 
lake, north of Tiberias, most probably by the Wady 
Haniam and the south boundaiy of the Plain of Gen- 
nesareth. Immediately behind the enclosing hills of 
the lake, its possessions comprised the wide plain, now 
called Ard el Buttauf, the richest part of the country 
next to Esdraelon. 

Tli(^ expression in the prophetic blessing of Deut. 
xxxiii. 18, "Ilejoico, Zebulun, in thy going out," is 


explained to mean the possession of the outlet " going 
out " of the Plain of Acre ; and as we know (Josh. xxi. 
t34 ; xix. 11) that Jokneam by Carmel, or the river 
which is before Jokneam (Caimon or Keimun), was on 
the south-western limits, we find the frontier brought 
definitely not many miles from the sea. This accords 
with the prophetic blessing of Jacob : " Zebulun shall 
dwell at the haven of the sea ; and he shall be for an 
haven of ships ; and his border shall be unto Zidon " 
(Gen. xlix. 13), intimating the connection of this tribe 
with the trade of the Bay of Acre, and its share in the 
commerce of Phoenicia. 

The same commercial tendencies of the tribe seem 
alluded to by Isaiah : " The land of Zebukm and the 
land of Naphtali ... by the way of the sea, beyond 
Jordan, in Galilee of the nations" (ch. ix. 1), where 
" the way of the sea " is explained to refer to the then 
highway of commerce, the outlet from Syria to the 
Mediterranean, which was by the great road down by 
the west side of the Lake of Gennesareth, and through 
the chief part of the territory of Zebulun, as far as 
Acre and Carmel. Thus the men of this tribe must 
have been brought much into contact with the mer- 
chants of the east and of the coast. Hence, perhaps, 
they attained the reputation ascribed to them by 
Deborah : '' Out of Zebulun came they that handle the 
pen of the writer" (Judg. v. 14). This handling of 
the writer's pen seems to have led them to methodical 
and systematic study of the military art ; for among 
those who came to David at Hebron were " of Zebulun, 
such as went forth to battle, rangers of battle, who 
could set the battle in array" (1 Chron. xii. 33). At 
the same time, as we see from 1 Chron. xii. 40, Zebulun 
was rich in agricultural produce. 

Indeed, in the district we have defined, there is no 
waste or rugged ground. The hills, though not rival- 


ling the fertility of the Ard el Bnttauf, which was the 
granary of Galilee, yet have not the barren nakedness 
of many of the less wooded and watered hills of Southern 
Palestine. With some few favourable exceptions, there 
is a marked contrast in the general appearance of the 
hills of Galilee and those of Ephraim and Judah. This 
may, indeed, arise from the fact that the timber has 
not been exterminated in the former, as it has been 
in the latter ^ but also, these hills, approaching the 
southern spur of Lebanon, seem always to have had a 
more copious and less precarious supply of water than 
the more southern ranges. 

The position, commercial, agricultural, and political, 
of Zebulun, thus early removed it from an active share 
in the events of the kingdom ; and it had already 
acquired, in the days of the monarchy, the epithet, 
"Galilee of the nations:" there being a large Gentile 
admixture from early times, as also in the New Testa- 
ment epoch. Yet there was one celebrated occasion on 
which Zebulun stood forth pre-eminent ; and the share 
which Zebulun and Naphtali took in the deliverance of 
the whole land from the iron rule of Jabin and his 
captain Sisera, render these tribes illustrious for ever 
in sacred history. 

As from Issachar, so from ZeVmlun, one Judge is re- 
corded to have sprung — Elon of Aijalon (Judg. xii. 12), 
of whom nothing further than his burial-place is re- 
corded. But it would appear almost beyond doubt that 
Ibzan of ]>ethlehem, the Judge who preceded him, was 
also of this tribe, and belonged to Bethlehem of Zebu- 
lun, not Bethlehem Ephratah. 

Z(!bidun was, with its neighbours Naphtali and Issa- 
char, swept into captivity by Tiglath-pileser, as is re- 
ferred to by Isaiah (ix. 1 ; 2 Kings xv. 29, and xvii. 18). 
At the same time many must have been left among the 
mountains; for wo Ihid tliat in the reign of llezekiah, 


''a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim 
and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun . . . did eat the 
passover " at Jerusalem. 

But it is rather as the centi^al part of Galilee that the 
rejrion allotted to Zebulun has its chief interest for the 
Bible student. The name of Galilee rarely occurs in 
the Old Testament, and then with a significance much 
more limited than in the Gospels. It is first mentioned 
in Joshua, " Kadesli in Galilee in Mount Naphtali " 
(ch. XX. 7), the word Galilee meaning " circle," and 
seems to have been applied to a circuit round Kadesli. 
We next meet with the name as applied to the twenty 
cities which Solomon gave to Hiram, King of Tyre, 
but which pleased him not, and to which he gave the 
name of Cahul (i. e. " displeasing," in Phoenician), with 
a punning signification, from Cabul in Asher, one of the 
border towns (1 Kings ix. 11 — 13). Isaiah speaks of 
" Galilee of the nations " (ch. ix. 1), referring to the 
same district. 

But the name of a small district became afterwards 
that of one of the three provinces into which the land 
was divided in our Lord's time ; the other two being 
Judea and Samaria. Galilee thus embraced the whole 
country north of Mount Ephraim. It was divided into 
two parts. Lower and Ujyj^er Galilee : " Lower " being 
almost identical with the tribe of Issachar, and Upper 
Galilee comprising all Zebulun and Naphtali, the dis- 
trict in which our Lord's ministry was chiefly exercised. 
Galilee was separated from Lebanon by the deep gorge 
of the Biver Leontes. 

Turning' to the several towns mentioned in Zebulun, 
or Upper Galilee, the most southern, in a westerly 
direction, seems to have been Idalah (Josh. xix. 15), 
which has been identified with El Huwarah (Hirii of the 
Talmud) on the Plain of Esdraelon, a mile south of 
Beitlahm, Bethlehem of Zebuhm. 




Shimron, the next place named, mentioned in the list 
of Thothmes III., was one of the cities whose Canaanitish 
king joined Jabin against Joshua. It is now Simuniyeh, 
a village lying between the last-named sites and 
Nazareth. About a mile and a half further on we come 
to the village of Mahil or Mahlul, which we have the 
authority of the Talmud for identifying with Xahalal, 
one of the four cities of Zebulun assigned to the Merarite 


Levites (Josh. xxi. 35). It is in the plain, but just 
under the hills of Nazareth. 

Japliia is given astlietown on the borders of Zebulun, 
between Daberath on Tabor and (Jath-hepher. It lies 
three miles east of 'A in Milhil, and two miles south of 
Nazareth, and is still a flourishing village, with a few 
palm-trees, called, with scarcely any change of spoiling, 
Yafa. It is not mentioned again in the Bible, but is 
I»r()iiilncii11 V UHMitioncd by -loscphus as a very large 


place, which he occupied in his struggle with the 
Roraans, and where a terrible slaughter of Jews was 
n\ado to the number of fifteen thousand. There is here 
a remarkable series of caves, of three storeys, opening 
into each other, unlike any others in Palestine; certainly 
not tombs, but probably great storehouses for grain. 

Rising over the low hills which stand behind Japhia, 
we soon descend again into what looks like a shallow 
basin, opening into a winding valley, which runs east 
and west ; and in front of us, on the further edge of the 
basin, is spread out the town of Xazareth, or, as it is 
now called, En Nazirah. From its very position, this 
unwalled town — the precious memories of which are 
entwined with our holiest thoughts, and whose name 
has become a household word to the ends of the earth — 
seems to covet obscurity and seclusion. Unlike Beth- 
lehem and the cities of Judah and Benjamin, perched 
on the hill-tops ; unlike Shechem, whose gushing foun- 
tains and perennial streams have invited the earliest 
settlements of man, the site of Nazareth offers no 
natural advantages. Among the many smaller ridges 
which crowd round the platform, from which rises the 
mountain chain of Lebanon, several here are clustered, 
forming a wide natural amphitheatre, the crest of which 
rises round the basin of Nazareth, as though to guard 
it from intrusion : " enclosed by mountains as the 
flower is by its leaves." The town clings to the hill- 
side, on a steep slope to the north-west of this hollow, 
unknown and unnamed in the Old Testament, — a place 
that had no history till He came, who has hallowed and 
immortalized it. 

The rim of hills round Nazareth is generally bare, 
rocky, and treeless, in this contrasting strongly with 
Northern Galilee. Nazareth has been filled by monas- 
tic inventions with holy places, such as the Virgin's 
House, and others equally unhistorical. But there is 


one special incident of our Lord's life at Nazareth which 
points to a definite locality, and that is "the brow of 
the hill whereon their city was Imilt," down which the 
infuriated men of Nazareth sought to cast headlong 
Him wdiose teaching had offended them. This has 
been transferred by the monks to the so-called " Mount 
of Precipitation," half-an-hour south-east of the town, 
a site contradicted by the history. There are several 
precipitous cliffs in Nazareth itself. So steep is the 
place generally, that in many parts there are only houses 
on one side of the street, the other being simply a wall 
of rocks, whence building material has been quarried. 
But while the extension of the modern town is towards 
the valley, the traces of the older village are rather 
higher up. There is almost a semicircle of steep cliff's, 
though now concealed, for the most part, by a luxuriant 
growth of prickly pear ; and in excavating the upper 
platform, there have recently been found many traces 
of ancient buildings, situated above the amphitheatre 
which forms the modern town. 

There is yet another spot at Nazareth, not mentioned 
in the sacred narrative, yet intimately connected with 
it, of the identity of^wliich there can be no doubt — the 
Fountain of Nazareth. About five minutes' walk to the 
east of the present town, through a pathway shaded by 
noble old olive-trees, is a copious fountain, the only one 
for the supply of the place. The water is conducted to 
it from the hills by underground conduits, wliich are of 
groat anti(|uity, and the supply never fails. The struc- 
ture is modern, having been erected a few years ago, 
but is on the exact site of tlie ohlor one. In the little 
open space close by stands the (h'ock Chiu'ch of the 
Annunciation : for the apocryphal tradition is, tliat tlio 
Angel's salutation to Mary was given as she was drawing 
water at this fountain. Here, from early moiniug till 
long after evening has closed in, the maids and matrons 




of Nazareth, with their little ones trooping after them, 
pass to and fro, with their tall pitchers poised on their 
heads or shoulders. The well itself is the general ren- 
dezvous of the place ; for, being an unwalled town, 
there is no " gate of the city " at which to congregate. 


Often and often may the infant Saviour have passed 
with his mother, as the boys do now, following her. 
The path under the olive-trees, like that from Bethany 
round the base of Olivet, and like Jacob's Well, is one 
of the few where we may be perfectly sure we are 
treading for the moment in His earthly footsteps. 


There is a peculiarity in the head-dress of the women 
of Nazareth and the neighbouring villages, which helps 
to illustrate one of the most familiar of our Lord's 
parables, that is the "semadi," or rolls of coins, which 
every woman, however poor, carries round her face. 
The silver coins, piled one on another and strung 
through the centre of each, are fixed in a sort of pad 
encircling the head. These coins are the woman's 
private property, which the husband can never touch, 
descending from mother to daughter. It is to them 
our Lord alludes in the parable of the lost piece of 
silver. Poor, indeed, must she be, who had only ten 
such pieces ; and piteously would she bewail the loss of 
one piece of her little store. How she would light her 
lamp and search her dark room — for the houses of 
Nazareth have no windows to the innei' apartments, 
where are stored all the goods, chattels, and implements 
of the family — and how joyously would she proclaim her 
good fortune, in the evening, to her neighbours at the 
well ! 

Nazareth is now a place of much greater importance 
than at any former period in its history. Though 
shunned by the Jews, it has become the chief com- 
mercial centre of Galilee, and contains a population 
which is now over 5000 souls. The number of its in- 
habitants has been largely recruited from the Christians 
of the various villages of Esdraelon, who, harassed by 
perpetual marauding forays of the Bedouin, have sought 
security and peace in the town, beyond the reach of the 
freebooters. The trade of the place arises chiefly from 
its being tlie mart of exchange between the exporting 
merchants of Acre and Caiffa for Europe and the wild 
Ijcdouin slioep-masters and sheikhs, who can ride here 
fioiii tlie Jordan, and transact their business, without 
giving the Turkish oflicials time to intercept or molest 
them. 'J'ljcy fuel, at least, within reacli of th(>ir native 



deserts. There is also a Protestant population of 700 
souls ; and the new English church on the brow of the 
hill — the first ever })uilt in Galilee, and in which the 
Rev. J, Zeller gathers his flock — is by far the most con- 
spicuous and architectural building in Nazareth. 

We ought not to leave the topography of Nazareth 
without noticing the fine panorama from the hill behind 
it, which overlooks the low ridges that shut in the basin 
of Nazareth from the Plain of Esdraelon, and sweeps 
the whole of the great battle-field of Israel from east 


to west. Hermon, Tabor, and Carmel are all in view. 
To the east the green dome of Tabor, with Gilboa to 
the south of it. In front, there is the plain across 
which Sisera fled and Jehu sped ; where were decided 
the struggles of Gilboa and Megiddo ; and whose story 
of battles runs down from the inroads of Midian, through 
the campaigns of Tancred and the Crusaders'; till the 
battle of Mount Tabor, as it is called, fought in front of 
Nazareth, wreathed one of his earliest laurels on the 
brow of Napoleon. Before us rise the slopes on which 
stand Endor and Nain. Jezreel and Megiddo are in 
sight, and Carmel, pushing into the sea which forms 
a glittering silver fringe for the landscape. Tm-ning 
towards the north, the irregular hilly mass of Galilee 
gradually rises, till walled in by the snowy peaks of 
Hermon; and the horizon is bounded by the rugged 
hills of distant Bashan, with many a black crater rising 
from a foreground of forest. 

Turning again from Nazareth towards the north-west, 
we come upon a succession of ruined sites, some of the 
two hundred and forty towns with which Galilee was 
studded in the time of Josephus, but of which, as the 
ancient names have not been recorded, we have no clue 
to the rendering of the modern names. Yet we may 
oftfen be sure of the old unnamed town from its Arabic 
designation. Thus Zebda, Jebuta, Arrabeh, tell plainly 
of a Zchad, a Gehatha, an Arahah, which have never been 
engraved on the records of history. 

About eight miles a little to the north of west of 
Nazareth is Beitlahm, the JkthleJieiii of Zebulun (Josh, 
xix. 15). It is a squalid village of fi score of houses in 
the plain, and is not mentioned jigain in Scripture, 
except as the native place and bmial-place of Ibzan, the 
Judge who succeeded Jephthah (Judg. xii. S, 10). 

A few miles to tlie east of Bcitlalun is the flourishing 
village of Sefurieh, the mean hovels of which are built 


among a number of ruins, carved sarcophagi, prostrate 
columns, the remains of a large Crusader-church, and a 
much more ancient square fortress. It is the Sepphoria 
of Josephus, the Diocatsarea of the later Romans ; and 
though not mentioned in Scripture, unless as Kitron^ 
(J udg. i. 30), bears a very important part in later Jewish 
history. Herod Antipas made it the largest and 
strongest city of Galilee ; and it took precedence of 
Tiberias. After the destruction of Jerusalem, it became 
the seat of the Jewish Sanhedrim before it was trans- 
ferred to Tiberias. It was afterwards a Christian 
bishopric. In the time of the Crusades it was a centre 
for the Christian armies. At the Fountain of Sepphoris 
the Crusaders mustered before the fatal battle of Hattin ; 
and on the same spot, a few days after, Saladin en- 
camped with his victorious troops, on his way to Acre, 
where the last struggle of the Crusades was fought. 

About four miles east of Sepphoris, and little more 
than the same distance north of Nazareth, is the village 
of Kefr Kenna, Cana of Galilee, memorable through all 
time as the scene of our Lord's first miracle ; where 
again He met the nobleman whose son was sick at 
Capernaum (John vi. 46) ; and where the Apostle 
Nathanael was born (ch. xxi. 2). It is now a small 
village, chiefly Christian, and contains a ruined church. 
But Kenna is not the only claimant for the Cana of 
Galilee of the Gospels. The other, Kana el Jelil, is 
considerably further to the north. The tradition, 
affixing the scene to Kenna, is very old ; and though 
the modern name of the other is closer to the ancient, 
yet its proximity to Nazareth, and the fact of its being 
on the direct road between Nazareth and Gennesareth, 
seem to me to far outweigh the claims of the northern 
and remote site. Of course the monks have localized 
the house of the wedding, and show the water-pots. 
1 Jerusalem Talmud reads "Tzippoii." 


There is a small Protestant congregation at Kenna, an 
offshoot of the Church of Nazareth. 

Between Sepphoris and Kenna, on the left hand in 
going from Nazareth to the latter, is a little village, 
perched on the top of a rocky hill, and now called El 
Meshhad. It is the ancient Gittah-hejyher, or Gath- 
hepher (Josh. xix. 13) — one of the places taken by 
Thothmes III., which was in the border of Zebulun, and 
is celebrated as the birthplace of Jonah the prophet 
(2 Kings xiv. 25). The identification is very satisfactory. 
The Habbinical writers tell us that the Tomb of Jonah 
was shown at Gath-hepher, on a hill, near Sepphoris ; 
and at El Meshhad his tomb is still shown, venerated 
by Moslems and Christians alike. 

No one has yet been able to point out Ittah-kazin, 
the next landmark given in Zebulun ; but the following 
place, ReiHiiion-inethoar (or rather ^e>;i?y<o?i, for ^' inetkoar " 
simply means " which reaches to "), has left its name 
in Kummaneh, a little village on the edge of the Plain 
of Ard el Buttauf , more than three miles north-east of 
Sepphoiis. It has been known and mentioned by early 
as well as later travellers. It seems probable that 
Iieiiiinon is the same as JJhnnah, one of the cities of 
Zebulun assigned to the Levites, the sons of Merari 
(Josh. xxi. 34), and which is not otherwise named 
among the towns of the • tribe. The change of the 
letters d ("7) and r (-|) is very easy in Hebrew. Of 
Kartar, the fourth Levitical city in the tribe, no trace 
has been yet discovered. 

Nea/i, mentioned next after Remmon, must, from the 
position in the list, have been to the north ; l)ut it has 
not l)oen recognized. Kattath, Kaiun'dh of the later 
Kabbis, seems [)r()bal)ly to bo the same as Kana el Jelil, 
the Hyriac of wliich is Katna, and somewhere in the 
neigh])ourhood of which Kattath must have stood. It 
may be tlie Kilrou of »Iudg. i. 30, which is said to In; 



iScpjjhoris, now Sefiirioli. As we have seen that its 
claims to be the Cana of our Lord's ministry are met by 
those of Kenna, a village near Nazareth and on the way 
to Tiberias, this more remote site may very well agree 
with Kattath. 

From Joshua (xix. 27) we find that the landmark on 
the north-west, between Zebulun and A slier, was the 
Valleu of Jiphtali-el, Thence it ran to Zehuluu, con- 



sidered by Van de Velde to be the town of Abilin, on 
the Wady Abilin, but lower down in its course, close to 
the opening on to the Plain of Acre. The line is easily 
traced on the spot. The border of Zebulun passed from 
Carmel, at Jokneam, to Zebulun (Abilin), thence by the 
Valley of Jiphtah to Ccd>ul, where it touched Naphtali 
as well as Asher. 

Part of Carmel belonged to Zebulun, but a strip of 
land by the sea fell to the heritage of Asher, and between 



Johnecmi (Keimun) and the sea may be recognized, along 
the south boundary of Carmel, M'ahll, possibly J/ant^a/^ 
the Crusading Merla, and DahhashetJi, now Kh. Dabsheh. 
JiphtaJi, though never mentioned again in the Sacred 
history, claims especial notice as the Jotnpata of Josephus, 
and retains its old name of Jefat. It is a singular and 

iiAl I IN. 

lonely spot. An isolated round hill, connected only on 
tlio north by a narrow rocky ledge with the surround- 
ing lioight, with a platform of bare rock on the top, 
perforated with cisterns — the sides hollowed in every 
din!ction with caves. I hit there is not a stone or a 
trace of a, fortress — only on the neck are many hewn 
stones, belonging to former buildings. Yet there is not 

UrrEJl CALlliEE — ZEBULUN 301 

a. shadow of doubt that this is the place so long defended 
by Josephus against Vespasian, and it is most exactly 
described by the Jewisli liistorian. Here he resisted 
the Konians for forty-eight days, but was obliged at last 
to surrender. 

Some miles to the north of Jefat, a ruined site on a 
hill bears the name of Jalun, probably the Aijcdon 
(Judg, xii, 11) where the Judge Elon of Zebulun was 

Pursuing an easterly course from Jefat, we come to 
the village of Arrabeh, perhaps the Maralah of Josh, 
xix. 11, though there is no certainty of the identifica- 
tion ; and Sarid, as yet undiscovered. A little further 
east, among the hills to the north of the Plain of But- 
tauf, on a conical hill, the ruins of a deserted site, called 
Deir 'Anan, preserve the memory of Hannatlion^ the 
last place to be noted on the northern frontier of Zebu- 
lun (Josh. xix. 14). 

Hence the boundary ran down by the north of the 
Plain of Buttauf and Hattin to the Lake of Galilee by 
the Wady Hamam and the south of the Plain of Gen- 
nesareth. On the high table-land, which intervenes 
betw^een the Buttauf and the Lake, rises a conspicuous 
saddle-back hill, something like two horns, called the 
Horns of Hattin, and celebrated as the scene of the 
fatal defeat of the Crusaders, 5th July, 1187, by Saladin, 
in which the Christians were almost annihilated, and 
after which Jerusalem and the whole country fell under 
the Moslem yoke to this day. 

Below, on the brow of Wady Hamam, and very near 
the Plain of Gennesareth, are the ruins of Irbid, the 
Beth-arhel of Hosea (x. 14), the capture of which by 
Shalmaneser was marked by a cruel massacre of every 
age and sex. In later times, the wonderful labyrinth 
of caves, which line the whole of this .stupendous gorge, 
were the stronghold of powerful robber bands, the 


capture and destruction of which were among the 
severest feats of Herod the Great, who could only reach 
the fortresses of the freebooters l)y parties of soldiers 
let down in strong cages by chains from the heights 
above. These storied caves still remain, extending for 
more than a mile, and many of them can only be reached 
by means of ropes, ^ 

^ Sec Lcnvl of li^racl, pp. 450 — 452. 




Se;i of Galilee— Its extent — Fishery— Former population— Towns— Chinnereth-^ 
r^ake of Gennesareth — General view — Ziddim—IIattln — Madon — Kk. McuUn 
— Tariclipea — Rakkath — Kerak — Lasharon — Snrona — Hammath — Baths of 
Tiberias — Tiberias — Tuharlyeli — History — Remains — Dalmanntha — Ain -el 
Jiarekleh—Ain el Fuliheh— Gennesareth— ^^ (?/a<?fczr— Migdol— Magdala— 
Mejdd — Plain — Glens — Wtuhj A mful — TFruZv/ Lehmi. n — A in Muda icurah — 
Round Fountain — Khan Minyuli — Ain'et Tin — Capernaum — Three claimants 
— Bethsaida — Ain Tabighah — TtJl H'tnn — Ruins — Synagogue — Chorazin — 
Kcrdzch — Entrance of the Jordan — Bethsaida Julias — Wady Senmkh — 
Gergesa — Khersa — Gamala — Aphek — Fik — Hukkok — Yak2ik — Ramah — 
Safed — Giscala — M Jish — Iron — Yanin -— Beth-anath— ^nd<^(— Horem — 
//Hra/i— Migdal-el — Mujddel — Waters of MeYovtv—Hideh — Battle of Joshua 
and Jabin — Edrei — Hazor — Tell Harrnh — Kedesh-Naphtali — Kedes — Descrip- 
tion — Ruins — Synagogue — Zaanaim — Harosheth — Heleph — Beitllf— Beth- 
rehob — Hunin — Abel-betli-Maachah — Abil — Ijon — Ayun — Laish — Dan 
Tall Kadi — Ruins — Source of the Jordan — ElKhidm — Hasbany — WadyTcim 
— Caisarea Philippi — Paneas — Banias — Baal-Gad — Spring of Banias — Upper 
sources of the Jordan — Adami — Kh. J^dmah — Diblath — Dibl — The Transfig- 
uration — Castle of Siibcibeh — Mount Hermon — Sirion — Sion — Shenir — Jebel 
Sheikh — Northern boundary — Temple on tlie summit — Dew of Hermon, 

At Hattin we are close to the Lake of Gennesareth, 
and though part of its shores washed the territory of 
Zebulun, yet, as its historical interest is chiefly bound 
up with that portion which pertained to Naphtali, it 
may be well to commence the examination of the 
northern part of Upper Galilee, or IS'aphtali, with a 
survey of the sacred Lake. 

The parallel ridges which shut in the Jordan Yalley 
here slightly expand, so as to allow for the spreading of 
the waters of the river, of which the Lake is really a 
part. On the west side there is a narrow margin of low- 
lying land, which expands in the centre into the little 
Plain of Gennesareth, about three miles square. The 
Lake is about twelve and a half miles long and six and 


three-quarters wide, and is 655 feet below the level of 
the Mediterranean Sea. On the east side especially the 
water is of great depth, and there the cliffs come close 
to its edge, shelving almost pei'pendicularly for 2000 
feet below the great plateau or table-land of Bashan, 
which here abruptly ends. Above the lake these hills 
slope gently down. Owing to its great depth the 
climate is almost tropical ; the plants are dilferent from 
those of Galilee, and are, most of them, like those 
which fringe the Dead Sea ; and snow and frost are 

The Lake absolutely swarms with fish, and the shoals 
may often be seen on the surface in dark masses, which, 
as their top fins appear on the surface, look at a distance 
as though a violent shower was rippling the surface for 
an extent of an acre or more. Yet the fishing is almost 
extinct. Only two or three boats can be seen on the 
Lake, and the few fishermen on its banks either fish 
with a hand-net, or a cast-net close to the edge of the 
shore, or fling poisoned crumbs upon the shoals as they 
come within reach, and then collect the dying fish by 
wfiding into the water. 

In the New Testament period there were nine cities 
on its shores, besides many villages on the sides of the 
hills, while hundreds of boats pursued the fisheries, or 
ferried passengers and merchandise across what was 
then the highway from Damascus and Syria to Europe. 
It was then, as we are told by Josephus, the most 
densely peopled region of Palestine. Now those shores 
are almost deserted. Tiberias is the only town remain- 
ing, and it is shrunken, decrepit, and for the most part 
in ruins. There are a few mud hovels at Magdala ; 
and one house where once was licthsaida. ; and that 
is all. 

The fjftlikan Lake is rarely mentioned in the Old 
Testament, where it is known as '* t/te ^Sea ofChuinereth " 



(Numb, xxxiv. 11), and is given as on the eastern border 
of the western tribes ; and again in Josh. xi. 2 and xii. 
3, where it is called " C7iiu?ierotk," and eh. xiii. 27, 
" the edge of the sea of Chinnereth/' It never recurs 
till we meet it, as the chief scene of our Lord's ministry, 


in the Gospels. There it is called the *Sea of Galilee 
(Matt. iv. 18 ; Mark vii. 31 ; John vi. 1, etc.) ; the Sea 
of Tiberias (John vi. 1, and xxi. 1); and ^/^e Lake of 
Gennesaret (Luke v. 1). It is now called Bahr Tuba- 
riyeh (the Sea of Tiberias) — all these names being 
taken from places on the western, the more inhabited 



The first glimpse of the Sea of Galilee obtained by the 
traveller from the west is very impressive. One ridge 
after another is passed, after crossing the basin, or plain, 
called Ard el Hamma, and on a sudden the calm blue 
basin, slumbering in placid sweetness beneath its en- 
circling wall of hills, bursts upon the view, and the 
hallowed scenes of our Lord's ministry are spread at 
our feet a thousand feet below us. The northern end 
and the entrance of the Jordan, as well as the river's 
exit at the southern end, are shut off from sight by 
projecting promontories. In front lies, at the foot of 
the steep hills, a narrow plain sloping to the sea, and 
the city of Tiberias, the only remaining town on its 
shores, enclosed by crumbling fortifications, with shat- 
tered but once massive rqund bastions, and its walls and 
towers running forward into the water. The Plain of 
Gennesareth is shut out, except only its beach ; and 
along the fringe, or not far behind it, lie what traces 
there remain of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. 
Across the Lake runs the line of heights of the country 
of the Gadarenes, and the scene of the feeding of the 
live thousand. On some one of the slopes beneath, the 
Sermon on the Mount was delivered. Though the Lake 
looks small for the theatre of such great events, yet all 
the incidents seem brought together as in a diorama. 
There is a calm peacefulness in the look of its western 
shores, with the paths by the water's edge, which make 
them the fitting theatre for the delivery of the message 
of peace and reconciliation. 

None of the places which are so indelibly impressed 
on the memory as the scenes of our Lord's ministry 
and miracles, occur in tlio Old Testament history, but 
liad all sprung into importance with the commercial 
rise of Galilee. Yet five or six of the fenced cities of 
Naphtali would seem to have been near the shores of 
the Lake. The first-named in the catalogue of J osliua 


is Ziddihb (ell. xix. 35), stated by the Jerusalem Talmud 
to be the same as Kefr Chlttai, which has been guessed, 
with some probability, to be the village of Hattin, at the 
foot of the famous Horns of Hattin, six miles north- 
west of Tiberias. The village has several traces of 
antiquity in its tombs, and is, compared with many 
others, a clean and thriving place. Of Zer, next named, 
we know nothing. 

Close to Hattin on the south, the ruin Kh. Madin 
represents Madon, an important place in Oanaanite 
times, and one of Jabin's confederacy, between Lasharon 
and Hazor. In later times it was probably absorbed by 

From the heights of Hattin we " come down " to the 
shores of the Lake, as our Lord came doion from Nazareth 
among the heights to Capernaum. Descending by the 
lower end of the Lake— which we have no record of our 
Lord ever having visited, probably because Tiberias, the 
Baths, and Tarichsea, were all Herodian and Koman 
rather than Jewish centres at that period — we find a 
perfectly level plain of deep rank verdure, which receives 
the Jordan as it silently cuts its way through its low 
banks, and winds away down the wide opening of the 
valley. Just above the exit of the river, on the western 
side, are the ruins of Tarichcea, now called Kerak, and 
probably the Rakkath of Joshua, since it is placed in the 
list of Joshua next HammatJi, which is close to Tiberias. 
Kerak stands on a little peninsula, covered with ruins, 
with a long Roman causeway, through the arches of 
which the water of the Lake sometimes flows. It is 
not mentioned further in Scripture, but was a place of 
importance in the war with the Romans, fortified by 
Josephus, and at length, after a stubborn resistance, 
taken and destroyed by the army of Titus. The mound 
is about fifty feet high, and the ditch, which completed 
the isolation, was partly artificial. The soil is full of 


remains, mosaic pavements, and fragments : for Taricksea 
was celebrated for its pottery. 

Six miles west of Kerak, a little village built of 
basalt, with two springs and the remain;^ of very ancient 
buildings on two hillocks in the plain, now called Sarona, 
is probably Lasharon, whose king was taken by Joshua. 

From the exit of the Jordan a narrow path leads up 
the west side to Tiberias. The bold cliffs come close to 
the water's edge and occasionally push into the Lake, 
where the road climbs a shoulder and descends again. 
On the bluff is a village, with the name of Kadis, one of 
the many of Galilee which recall Kadesh. 

About four miles up are the Baths of Tiberias or 
Hammam, the Ilammath of Joshua, one of the places 
taken by Thothmes III. in his invasion. It is the same 
which is given as Hammoth-Dor (Josh. xxi. 32) and 
llanimon (1 Chron. vi. 76), one of the cities of Naphtali 
allotted to the Levites. The name was written .as 
Ammaus by the Greeks. For ages these baths have 
been famous. They consist of four most copious springs, 
gushing down not far from each other very near the 
Lake. The steam of the hot water can be seen at a 
distance. The temperature is 144° Fahr,, the waters 
are salt and sulj)hurous, and have always been resorted 
to for their healing powers, especially in rheumatism. 
There are modern buildings over two of the springs, 
forming public baths ; but the splendid old city has gone. 
For more than a mile round, both inland on the shore, 
and in the water, the ground is strewn with ruins. 
Pedestals and columns, prostrate or broken, in the Lake; 
columns, marble and basalt, erect, prostrate, or sloping, 
some broken, some entire; massive walls, Roman pave- 
ments, hewn caves in the cliffs behind, mark where 
Koman temples, costly villas, and Jewish synagogues 
once adorned the borders of the Lake, and formed an 
Oriental Puteoli. 



Tho ruins continue, with scarcely any interruption, 
till we reach Tiberias, about a mile further north, now 
the only town on the shores of the Lake — the Chinnereth 
of Joshua, according to Jerome, and which also occurs 
in the lists of Thothmes III. The ruins indicate that 
the ancient city extended rather to the south of the 
present site, and the modern name, Tubariyeh, is 
identical. It is probable that the still earlier city of 


Chinnereth was a little further north. There is no 
indication in the Gospel history that our Lord ever 
visited Tiberias. This may be explained by the history 
of the place. It was founded by Herod Antipas, the 
murderer of John the Baptist, and who frequently resided 
there. He named it in honour of the Emperor Tiberius. 
It was here, according to some, that the festival was 
held, at which the daughter of Herodias danced before 
the tyrant. It is said to have been built on the site of 



an ancient burial-ground, and therefore to have been 
ceremonially unclean, and consequently almost exclusively 
inhabited by Gentiles. 

It is remarkable that a Roman city should have sub- 
sequently become one of the chief Jewish holy places. In 
the wars with the Romans, Tiberias bore a conspicuous 
part ; and after the destruction of Jerusalem, from the 
middle of the second century, it was for three hundred 


years the seat of the Jewish Sanhedrim, which had 
settled for a time, first at Jamnia, and then at Sepphoris. 
Here the great Rabbinical commentary, the Mishna, 
was compiled, and also the Jerusalem Talmud and the 
Masorah. It has ever since been the seat of the Jewish 
Rabl)inical university. The modern Jews have a tradi- 
tion that the Messiah will rise from the (ilalilean Lake 
and land at Tiberias, which, consecjuently, is one of their 
four sanctuaries: tiio others being . I enisalom, Hebron, 
mid SnTcd, at which latter iliey say the Messiah will 


establish His throne. Tiberias was taken by the Khalif 
Omar, afterwards by the Crusader Tancred. who founded 
a bishopric. Now the place is almost exclusively Moslem 
and Jewish, though there are a few Protestant families. 

The modern town of Tiberias is sadly shattered and 
ruined by eartlupiakes. Its fortifications and walls are 
rent, and some of the towers overthrown. Many of 
them project into the Lake, in which are still standing 
lines of walls partially submerged. A large space within 
the fortifications is empty and deserted, and used merely 
as camping-ground by travellers, with a few palm-trees 
waving here and there. There is a gently sloping space, 
about a quarter of a mile wide, from the steep cliffs and 
hills that here recede a little from the Lake, and which 
is all strewn with ruins. On the hill-sides are the 
whited sepulchres of many venerated Rabbis, especially 
of the celebrated Maimonides. 

A little to the north of Tiberias the hills again 
approach the Lake, leaving only a narrow strip of beach, 
along which is a path for three and a half miles to the 
Plain of Gennesareth, while many sunken rocks and' 
jagged peaks and reefs may be seen above and below 
water when we watch the calm clear surface of the 
Lake. The path sometimes recedes into a sloping field, 
sometimes contracts into a mere rugged track, which 
unites the slopes of Tiberias with the fertile Gennesareth, 
El Ghuweir, the central point of the life and works of 
our Redeemer. Just before emerging on this is a little 
open valley, widening down from a narrow ravine in the 
cliffs, called Ain el Bareideh (also known as Ain el Fuliyeh,^ 
" the spring of the bean "), with a few rich corn-fields 
and gardens straggling among the ruins of a village, and 
some large and more ancient foundations, by several 
copious fountains close to the Lake, probably identified 
with Dalmanutha (Mark viii. 10). This is inferred by a 
comparison with Matt. xv. 39, where we read, " Jesus 



came into the borders of Magclala." Hence they must 
have been near together. There are a few traces of an 
unwalled town. 

The steep cliffs then come close down to the shore 


with a patli over a low shoulder, and thence recede 
almost at a right Mugle, leaving a wide marshy plain, at 
tlic south corner of which is the squalid and illthy collec- 
tion of hovels, called Mejdel {MUjdol or Mmjdala), with a 
crumbling :»nd not very :nu'i('nt watch-tower, once, 


perhaps, the key to the entrance of the plain. This is 
all that remains of a spot, whence is derived a name 
familiar and loved through Christendom. Magdala is 
only the Greek form of M'ujdol, or watch-tower, one of the 
many places of the name in Palestine. 

From the angle of the ridge above Magdala is a 
splendid view of the Plain of Gennesareth and of the 
Sea of Galilee. The soil of the plain is wonderfully 
rich. It is a wilderness — not, as in the days of Josephus, 
an earthly paradise ; but it is a strikingly beautiful one. 
Wild-flowers spring up everywhere. Tulips, anemones, 
and irises carpet the ground. The various streams 
are lined with deep borders of oleanders, waving with 
their rosy tufts of bloom, one sheet of pink. Thick 
tangles of thorn-tree every here and there choke the 
straggling corn-patches, festooned with wreaths of gorge- 
ous purple convolvulus. The plain is almost a parallelo- 
gram, shut in on the north and south sides by steep cliffs, 
nearly a thousand feet high, broken here and there into 
terraces, but nowhere easily to be climbed. On the west 
side the hills recede not quite so precipitously, and streams 
of black basalt boulders encroach on the plain. The 
shore line is gently embayed, and the beach is pearly 
white — one mass of triturated freshwater shells — and 
edged by a fringe of the exquisitely lovely oleander. At 
the north-west and south-west angles, tremendous ravines 
open upon the plain. That to the south, Wady Hamam 
(valley of pigeons), where the cliffs rise perpendicularly 
twelve hundred feet, is the ravine of the robber caves, 
already mentioned, with its tiers of cavern chambers. 

The glen to the north-west, the Wady Amud, is 
scarcely less striking, and in some places, from the 
narrowness, is even more imposing. Both are the homes 
of thousands of griifon vultures, which rejoice in the 
deserted caverns and solitude. Wady Amiid rises in the 
Jurmuk, the highest mountain of Galilee, and in the 


greater part of its course is called the AYady Leimun. 
Between these two a third wady, Rubudiyeh, opens in^a 
wider valley comparatively open. From each of these, 
perennial streams run to the Lake, fertilizing the whole 
plain ; and in ancient times aqueducts conveyed the 
water to every part. 

A little way to the south of the middle valley, a 
copious spring bursts forth into an ancient circular 
fountain, about thirty yards in diameter, Ain Muda- 
warah, from which, a little stream runs right across the 
plain to the Lake. This I formerly believed to be the 
Fountain of Capernaum, described by Josephus. But 
it has been since shown by the researches of Sir C. 
Wilson that the larger and similar Fountain of Et 
Tabighah, to the north of the plain, had its waters 
conducted by an aqueduct, whicli has been traced, right 
into the plain, round the projecting headland which 
forms its north-eastern angle, and, therefore, the descrip- 
tion of Josephus will apply equally to it. No doubt there 
are difficulties connected with the site of Capernaum, 
whichever of the three localities claimed for it we accept; 
l)ut, after the recent surveys, I am not prepared to main- 
tain the site of Mudawarah. 

In the plain itself there are no other ruins of im- 
portance till we reach the north-east angle ; and if 
Capernaum were, as all writers described it, in the plain, 
it must have been either here or at j\[udawarah. Jose- 
plius descri})es the Bound Fountain of Capernaum as 
watering the plain. But the Bound Fountain need not 
have been quite close to the town ; and as Sir C. 
Wilson has shown that the waters of another Bound 
Fountain, whi(;li, like Mudawarah, also contains the 
iisli calhid Cordcinus, an; brought by an aqueduct into 
the plain, the exclusive chum of Miulawarah stands no 
longcir, for the Bound Fountain and the fish Coraclnns 
wliich it contained arc the two points in Josephus' account. 


The ruins at this point arc few. There is a large 
ruined Saracenic khan, some chambers of which are 
still used as cattle-sheds. It was known seven hundred 
years ago as a halting-place on the road from Damascus, 
and is called Khan Minyeh. A few yards lower down, 
nearer the shore, is Ain et Tin, "the fountain of the 
fig-tree," bursting copiously from the rocks, and sending 
forth a supply of sweet water under the shade of three 
fine fig-trees, whence its name. The little stream, 
after a course of about thirty yards, forms a small 
luxuriant marsh, skirted with oleanders, and choked 
with weaving tufts of the beautiful tall papyrus of 
Egypt. The ruins, the second claimant for Ca2)ernaum, 
are to the west of it, forming a series of mounds, but 
no fragments of columns or carvings have been found. 
On the hill above are some more distinct ruins and 
tombs, and just above the khan the aqueduct from Ain 
Tabighah winds round the cliff, and is now used as a 
horse-path. The spot loses none of its interest from 
the disputed identification. Whatever it be, many 
times must our Redeemer have trodden the path by 
that fountain ; and often the walls below and the cliffs 
above it re-echoed the voice of Him who spake as never 
man spake. 

Passing north, we leave Gennesareth's plain round 
the edge of a bluff which descends to the water's edge, 
wholly interrupting any passage by the shore, and 
having no beach. Descending immediately, the path 
leads close by the beach, and at little more than a mile 
stands Ain Tabighah, usually agreed on as Bethsaida, 
" the house of fish," and still the chief fishing-station 
on the Lake, the few naked fishermen casting hand- 
nets into the shallow waters ; one boat being used to 
supply the Tiberias market. A few hundred yards 
liehind on the hill is the great Round Fountain before 
alluded to, and supposed by Sir C. Wilson to be the 


Fountain of Capernaum of Joseplius. It is the largest 
spring in Galilee — half the size of that of the Jordan at 
C^esarea Philippi. It was formerly raised by a strong 
octagonal reservoir some twenty feet above the height of 
its source, and thence conveyed to the plain by an aque- 
duct. Neglect has long since suffered the great reservoir 
to be broken through, as well as the aqueduct, of which 
here and there piers may be seen. There are four other 
fountains, all slightly brackish and warm. These, 
sending up a cloud of steam in the still atmosphere, 
produce a luxuriant semi-tropical oasis around them, 
but are otherwise wasted, save that a portion of the 
water is collected in an aqueduct to turn a corn-mill, 
the only one in working order of five, and the solitary 
inhabited dwelling of Bethsaida. The white beach 
gently shelves, and is admirably adapted, with its little 
curved bay, for fishing-boats. The anchorage is good, 
and is partly protected by submerged rows of stones, 
though there does not appear to have been any break- 
water. Rocks, however, project more than fifty yards 
out at the south-west, forming a sort of protection. 
Tlie sand has just the gentle slope fitted for the fisher- 
men running up their boats and beaching them. 

Here we may safely fix the scene of the miraculous 
draught of fishes and the subsequent call of Peter and 
Andrew, James and John (Luke v. 1 — 11). Bethsaida 
was coupled, in the woe denounced by our Lord, with 
its sister cities Cliorazin and Capernaum ; and now, not 
only in the desolation of their sites, but in the very 
dispute about their identity, we see it has been " more 
toleral>le for Tyre and Sidon " in tlie dny of tlieir cartJiJy 
judgment than for these cities. Their nauies are pre- 
served, thcii' sites are unquestioned, l)ut hero the names 
are gone, and even the sites are disputed (Matt. xi. 

Tin's Bethsaida., tlie birlhpla('(> of Audccw, l\><er, and 


riiilip, is called rxitJiaaida of (kdilee, to distinguish it 
from the other lieth.saida, north of the Lake, on the 
east side of Jordan, Jiethsaida Jidias. 

Proceeding northward about a mile and a half, we 
come upon a little low promontory running out into 
the Lake, covered with sculptured ruins and known as 
Tell Hum, the third and, I am now convinced, the 
rightful claimant for the site of ancient Cajiernauin. 
The most conspicuous ruin is at the water's edge, called 
the White Synagogue, built of hard white limestone, 
while the district round is strewn with blocks of black 
basalt. It is now partly buried, and is nearly level 
with the surface, the capitals and columns having been 
for the most part carried away or burnt for lime. The 
excavations of the Palestine Exploration Fund have, 
however, shown many of the pedestals in their original 
position and many capitals buried in the rubbish. 
There can be no doubt, from the form and plan of the 
building, that it is a Jewish synagogue. 

Nine synagogues in Galilee have been examined, all 
upon the same plan — rectangular, longest north and 
south, and divided into five aisles by four rows of 
columns. With one exception, the entrances are at the 
south end, and are three in number, one larger and a 
smaller on each side of it. The lintels over the doors 
are sculptured, sometimes with seven-branch candle- 
sticks, sometimes with the Paschal lamb, or with vine- 
leaves and a bunch of grapes. The capitals are various, 
Corinthian or Ionic, but moi-e generally have a peculiar 
capital ornamentation of partly Jewish origin. The 
roofs appear to have been flat and covered with earth. 
The windows, so far as they remain, were very small. 

The outside of the synagogue of Tell Hum was 
decorated with pilasters, and attached to its eastern side 
is a later addition, a rectangular l)uilding with three 
entrances on the north and one on the east, but without 


a doorway to connect the two buildings. But the most 
interesting relic here is a large block, once a lintel, with 
the pot of manna sculptured on it. If this be Caper- 
naum, then this must, beyond doubt, be the synagogue 
built by the Roman centurion (Luke vii. 45), and it 
was within its walls that our Ijord uttered the discourse 
in John, chap, vi., and perhaps, pointing to the pot of 
manna carved over the door, proclaimed, " I am that 
bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wil- 
derness, and are dead." It is possible, from the Cor- 
inthian and Ionic mouldings, that this place is a later 
erection of the time of the Emperor Hadrian, and that 
the name Tell Hum, or " hill of Hiim," was applied to 
it when it took the place of the earlier Kefr na-Hiim, 
or Capernaum, " the village of Hum." The remains 
of another building are probal)ly those of the church 
which we are told was built at Capernaum, and is de- 
scribed, about the year a.d. 600, as a Basilica enclosing 
the house of Peter. 

Round the synagogue and stretching for half a mile 
from the shore, the area is covered with the ruined 
walls of private houses and the traces of a main street. 
Beyond these are some remarkable tombs above and 
i)elow ground. There are no traces of a harboui-, and 
it could never have been a convenient spot for fishing- 
l)oats. But at least it seems tolerably certain that 
whether this be the Capernaum of our Lord's time or 
not, it is the Capernaum of the Jews when, under 
Jladrian, they were permitted to return to their land. 
Its distance from the Round Fountain and from the 
Plain of Genneaareth seems the oidy obstacle to a decisive 
admission of its being the city of the (Jospcds. 

Two and a half miles north of Tell Hum, on the left 
bank of a valley which falls into the Lake near it, are 
tlio ruins of Keruzeh, C/torazin. Its ruins cover aa 
large an extent as those at Capernaum, and are situated 

l!|M'l?:il (lAIJl.El': TO IIKU.MON oil) 

partly in a shallow valley, partly in a rocky spur formed 
by a sharp bend in AVady Keruzeh, here a wild gorge 
eighty feet deep, and whicli lower down is called Wady 
Tell Hum. The most important ruins are a synagogue 
with Corinthian capitals and sculpture, cut, not as at 
Tell Hum, in limestone, but in the hard basalt. Many 
of the dwelling-houses are in a toleral)ly perfect state, 
the walls being in some cases six feet high ; and as they 
are probably the same class of houses as that in which 
our Saviour dwelt, a description of them may be inter- 
esting. They vary in size, generally square, the largest 
about thirty feet, and have one or two columns down 
the centre to support the roof, which appears to have 
been flat, as in the modern Arab houses. The walls 
are about two feet thick, built of masonry or of loose 
blocks of basalt ; there is a low door in the centre of 
one of the walls, and each house has windows a foot 
high and about six and a half inches wide. In one or 
two cases the houses are divided into four chambers. 
There are traces of the road both down to the Lake, 
and also of that which connected Chorazin with the 
great Damascus road. Chorazin is especially interest- 
ing, as there is no reason to believe that any building- 
has there been occupied since the fall of the Jewish 

Returning to the shores of the Lake, a walk of tw^o 
miles among rugged boulders and blocks of black basalt 
brings us to the mouth of the Jordan. In a flat plain, 
perhaps three miles wide, of the richest alluvial mud, 
the Jordan enters the Lake, the only object which breaks 
the dead level of the prospect being a clump of palm- 
trees. No oleanders or shrubs here mark the course 
of the Jordan, which, turbid and muddy, rolls rapidly 
through low oozy banks to the Lake. About two miles 
up is the ford and the mound or "tell" of Bethsaida 
Jidias. On the rising ground, a miserable wattled 


village, inhabited by Arabs, stands among heaps of 
shapeless stones ; but all traces of sculptures have 
perished, or lie below the surface. There is abundant 
grass on and below the slope, and abundant space here 
for the multitude to have sat down when our Lord fed 
the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes ''in a 
desert place," probably on the hill-side to the south 
(Luke ix. 10 — 17). By the ford opposite they crossed 
over from the other side. 

Bethsaida was a small village enlarged and beautified 
by Philip tlie Tetrarch, who gave it the name of Julias 
in honour of the Emperor's daughter. Philip himself 
was buried here. It is necessary to notice the distinct- 
ness of the two Bethsaidas. Here, on the east side, 
our Lord fed the five thousand (Luke ix. 10), and then 
sent the people away to the other side, toward the other 
Bethsaida (Mark vi. 45). And then " He departed into 
a mountain (on the east side) to pray " (Mark vi. 46 ; 
John vi. 15^ — 17) ; and when even was come He was there 
alone. Then the storm sprang up in the night, while 
His disciples were crossing in the boat, and was allayed 
when Jesus appeared, and ''immediately the ship was 
at the land whither they went." 

Although the east side of the Lake was in Manasseh, 
and not in Galilee, it may be convenient here to notice 
the few places of interest on that side. The notices of 
this side are very few. The high table-land of Bashan 
approaches the east shore much more closely, and breaks 
more abruptly, than do the hills of Galilee on the west. 

About one third of the way frt)m the north end, a 
little stream from a deep valley enters the Lake, the 
Wady Semakh, and on the south side of it, at the foot 
of the hills at the beginning of the little plain, are the 
ruins of Geryasa, now called Khersa. The ruins are 
enclosed by a wall, l)ut are unimportant. Here was 
the scene of the casting out the legion of diwils and 


tlio dosU'iictioii of the licnl of swiiie (Matt. viii. 28). 
Sir C. Wilson thus (.loscribes it : — " Al)out a mile south 
of this, the hills, which everywhere else on the eastern 
sides are recessed from half to three-quarters of a mile 
from the water's edge, approach within forty feet of it. 
They do not terminate abruptly, but there is a steep 
even slope, which we would identify with the ' steep 
place' down which the herd of swine ran violently into 
the sea, and so were choked." Mr. Macgregor remarks : 
** Between Wady Semakh and Wady Fik there are at 
least four distinct localities where every feature in the 
Scripture account of this incident may be found in 
combination. Above them are rocks with caves in 
them, very suitable for tombs, and further down there 
is ample space for tombs built on sloping ground, a 
form of sepulture far more prevalent in Scripture times 
than we are apt to suppose. A verdant sward is here, 
with bulbous roots on which swine might feed. And on 
this I observed — what is an unusual sight — a very large 
herd of oxen, horses, camels, sheep, asses, and goats, 
all feeding together." Geryesa was in the district of 
Gadara, hence the place is called " in the country of the 
Gadarenes " (Mark v. 1 ; Luke viii. 26). 

Three miles lower down the Wady Fik enters the 
Lake ; and a little way up, on the crest of the precipice 
which encloses it, are the ruins of Gamala, now Kulat 
el Husn, not mentioned in Scripture, but celebrated by 
Josephus for its desperate resistance to the llomans. 
It was one of the cities of Decapolis. 

Furthet- up, at the head of the wady, on the great 
eastern high-road to Damascus, still used, is the town 
of Fik, the ancient ylj;Ae/f, " which did furnish both 
death and gravestones to 27,000 Syrians/' as old Fuller 
quaintly remarks. Lying as it did on the military road 
between the two nations, it was a frequent battle-field 
(1 Kings XX. 26-— 30 ; 2 Kings xiii. 17). 


322 B113LE PLACES 

Returning to the hill country of Naphtali, we find its 
interest wholly confined to the Old Testament, in which 
more than twenty of its towns are named. The southern 
landmark westw^ard of the Jordan was Aznotli-Tahor 
(Josh. xix. 34), of which nothing is known. It must, 
from its name, have been near Mount Tabor, probably 
to the north-east. Next we have Ilukkok, recognized in 
Yakuk, a village six miles west of the Lake of Galilee, 
and seven miles soutli of Safed, near one of the feeders 
of the Wady Rubudiyeh. It is said to contain the tomb 
of the Prophet Habakkuk. Five miles north-west of 
Hukkok we find the name of another of the fenced cities 
of Naphtali in Ain-Hazzur, En-Hazor of Josh. xix. 37. 
There are mai^y Hazors in this district, to judge by the 
frequent occurrence of the modern Ilazar, This, however, 
is the only Ain-Hazzur. 

Not less numerous here, as elsewhere, were the 
Ramahs or '' heights." The Raniah of Naphtali may 
be traced in a round-topped hill covered with grass- 
grown mounds, two miles north-west of Ain-Hazzur, 
and still preserving the name of Ilameh. The principal 
place in this district, and one of the holy cities of the 
Jews, is Safed, a place which is not named in Scrijjture 
history. It is situjited on the top of a hill, 2775 feet 
high, and most conspicuous from the neighbourhood of 
Gennesareth. Tradition makes it the "city set on a 
hill " to which our Lord pointed in the Sermon on the 
Mount. It is largely inhabited by Jews, and fs a great 
seat of Rabbinical learning, liefore the great earth- 
quake of 1837, which has made it almost a heap of 
ruins, there was a Hebrew printing-press and many 
synagogues and schools. 

There is a road across Galileo from Safed to Tyro, 
About two liours' journey on this road are the ruins of 
(Jiacala, now Kl Jish, the last i)lacc in Galilee that held 
out against the Romans. Nortli of this again, the site 


of Iron,, another town of Naphtali, is marked by tlie 
ruins called Yarun, among the hills. 

JietJi-anath, another of the fenced cities of Naphtali, 
seems marked by 'Ainitha, a group of ruins on a hill six 
miles west of Kedesli. It was one of the cities out of 
which Naphtali could not drive the Canaanites (Judg. 
i. 33). ]>Qtk-slL<i')n(ish is mentioned on both occasions 
with Beth-anath. By some it has been identified with 
Khirbet Shama, three miles west of Safed; but the district 
is full of traces of places on every hill, of many of which 
I was not able, while wandering among them, to ascer- 
tain the names. Deir-Shum, a group of ruins a little 
south of Horah, one of the cities taken by Thothmes III., 
may possibly preserve the traces of Beth-shemesh. Like 
the others, they crown a low hill or " tell." 

Horei)t, now Hurah, must not be identified with this 
Horah, but is another fortified town of Naphtali, of 
which nothing remains but the traces on a hill in the 
centre of that country three miles west of Yarun 

Still further west, the frontier of the tribe is marked 
by Migdcd-el, ^' the tower of God," Mujeidel, as it is now 
called. The ruins are at the head of a valley, Wady 
Kerkerah (perhaps Kartan or Kirjathain, also in the list 
of Thothmes, and a Levitical city in Naphtali), running 
down to the sea (Josh. xxi. 32). 

Most of the remaining cities of Naphtali seem to have 
been collected on the highland plateau west of the 
Waters of Merom, which has always been fertile and well 
peopled, and was the centre of the Canaanitish power 
in the north before and after the conquest by Joshua. 
From the head of the Lake of Galilee to the Waters of 
Merom, a distance in a straight line of ten miles, the 
course of the Jordan is through a rich but deserted 
plain, shut in, as elsewhere in its course, by the en^ 
closing ranges. There are many mounds in this plain j 



marking the site of perished villages, but not one in- 
habited, though here and there the wattled huts of the 
stationary Arabs, or the l)lack tents of the wandering 
tribes, may be seen. But the lofty plateau which faces 
the great swamp and little Lake of Huleh, the Water's of 
J/eroni, on the west side, is full of ruins, many of which 
recall Scripture names. The hills descend precipitously, 
and the ruins are crowded near their brow. Between 
their base and the Lake and swamp is a rich corn plain, 
cultivated by the people of the uplands, who only 
encamp below for sowing and harvest time. Probably 
its unhealthiness always prevented this plain from being 
permanently inhabited. 

Jlerom, captured by Thothmes III. in his invasion, is 
only mentioned in the Bible (Jdsh. xi. 5 — 7) as the scene 
of the great battle in which Joshua utterly broke the 
power of Jabin, King of Hazor, and the confederate 
Canaanites of the north. This battle was, in fact, for 
the north what that of Beth-horon was for the south. 
It was the last combined struggle against the conqueror. 
All were gathered for it from Philistia to Hermon, 
" They went out, they and all their hosts with them, 
much j)6ople, even as the sand that is upon the sea- 
shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many " 
(cli. xi. 4). It must have been in the low plain, west 
of the Lake, that the army of Israel fell suddenly upon 
them, routed them utterly, and chased them westwards 
over the hills to ({reat Zidon and eastward, or rather 
north-east, up the Jordan Valley to the Plain {l>ikah) of 
Mizjteh or (J(cle Syria, still called by the same name 
*' IhihCa.'" Their horses were houghed and theii' 
chariots burnt. This was the first time that we read of 
chariots and horses in these wars ; and tlie result of the 
victory was to give tlie four northern tribes possession 
of their inheritance. 

The open water of Meroiit is very small in extent, 


merely a triangle, with its apex at tlie exit of the river, 
and barely four niilos each way. But the impenetrable 
moi'ass at the head of it is of much greater size, about 
eight miles in length and four wide, one mass of floating 
papyrus and reeds, on which it is impossible to find a 
footing, and through and under which the Jordan works 
its way to the open water. 

On the brow of the ridge, nearly opposite the head of 
the open water, is a conical rocky hill, called Tell Khu- 
raibeh, " the hill of the ruin," with some remains of 
ancient buildings, assigned by topographers to Edrei, a 
fenced city, named next Kedesh in the list of Joshua, 
and also appearing in the list of Thothmes III. 

About three miles north-west of this, and two miles 
south-east of Kedesh, is an isolated hill, called Tell 
Harrah, with the remains of a large city of very ancient 
date. On the top of the hill are the walls of the citadel ; 
and below, a portion of the city wall can be traced. All 
the buildings are of the same character — -rough courses 
of undressed stones, with the interstices packed with 
small stones. Sir C. Wilson has convincingly argued 
that this is the Hazor of Jabin. The position is one 
of great strength, and overhangs the Lake ; there are 
numbers of large cisterns on the hill, and it seems to 
have escaped the ravages of the Crusading period. 

Though Hazor soon sank into oblivion, being eclipsed 
by its neighbour Kedesh, it was an important place 
in Canaanitish times. Not only is it mentioned by 
Thothmes III. in the list of his conquests ; the interest- 
ing papyrus, '' The Travels of a Mohar," written in the 
reign of Rameses II., giving an account of the tour of an 
Egyptian officer in Palestine, mentions it as one of the 
places he visited, and he describes it as on a mountain 
between Achzib and the Lake of Galilee. Among the 
Amarna letters is one from the King of Tyre to the 
Pharaoh, in which he complains of the King of Hazor 


attacking him and appeals for help. There are other 
letters from the King of Hazor himself, complaining of the 
attacks of some enemy, but assuring Pharaoh that he is 
holding the fortress against the invader. It is interest- 
ing to note that the king's name, though not certainly 
deciphered, seems to be labacnu, i. e. Jabin, in which he 
may have been Joshua's opponent, and his enemy the 

Kedesh-Xaphtali, now Kedes, is very little to the north 
of this. It is full of interesting ruins. There are fine 
old tombs, double sarcophagi, placed, not in cases, but on 
pedestals of massive masonry ; remains also of many 
ancient buildings, but especially one very large building, 
of which the eastern front and part of the other walls 
are still perfect. The central doorway is richly sculp- 
tured with wreaths, and it is supposed to have been 
a synagogue of rather late date. There are also the 
remains of a tolerably perfect building, square without 
and cruciform within. 

Kedesh, when freed by Barak from foreign foes, must 
have comprised within its borders everything that could 
make it a flourishing town. Situated on an eastward 
slope, behind it rise her])age-clad liills, where flocks and 
herds pastured for the greater part of the year. The 
town stood on a knoll, where it could not easily bo 
surprised. Just below it gushed forth a copious spring. 
Tlien down a gentle slope were several hundred acres of 
olive-groves, and beyond tliom a rich alluvial plain, 
supplying abundance of corn and vegetables. Below the 
rugged brow of the steep ridge, it had its strip of marsh 
land of incom])aral)le fertility. Thus thoy had every 
kind of produce at their very doors, like that long string 
ot" towns which studded tlu^ g<^<>dly heritage of Naphtali : 
'* Satisfied with favour, and lull with the blessing of the 
Lord" (Dcut. xxxiii. 23), IVotii ( 'In'nncrcl li northward to 

UPTM<:ii riAijr.FJ<: to hkrmon 327 

Kodcsli, i. (]. " lioiy," was, hh its namo implies, an 
ancient sanctuary, and it retained its cliaracter after 
the conquest. It was not only assigned to the Levites, 
hut was the city of refuge for the northern tribes (Josh, 
XX, 7). But its chief historical interest is in connection 
with Barak. Here the warrior- judge was born. Hence 
Del)orah the prophetess sent Joshua to Mount Ephraim, 
and hither she returned with him to marshal the 
soldiers of Zebulun and Naphtali against Sisera. It 
was near Kedesh, too, that the Canaanite general met 
his tragic end at the hands of Jael. It was taken by 
Tiglath-Pileser along with Hazor (2 Kings xv. 29), and 
was the scene of events in the wars of the Maccabees 
and the Romans. 

Zaanammim or Zaanaim, in the borders of Naphtali, 
was the plain near Kedesh (Judg. iv. 11). By the oak, 
or terebinth, of Zaanaim, Heher the Kenite had pitched 
his tent when Hisera sought refuge under it. The tere^ 
binth still grows to a great size in the upland plain east 
and south of Kedesh, which, doubtless, must be identi- 
fied with Zaanaim, though the name has not yet been 
recovered. From the identity of signification, and 
according to a statement in the Talmud, it has been con- 
jectured to 1)6 BessHTii, a little east of Tabor. In this 
plain the black tents of the Bedouin, the modern 
Kenites, may constantly be seen. 

Harosheth of the entiles, in this neighbourhood, was 
the residence of Sisera, and was probably, therefore, in 
the low ground, in the upper part of the Plain of Jordan 
on the west side, as this position would be more suitable 
for the use of chariots and horses than the highlands of 
Hazor, where his master, Jabin, had his royal city. 
There are many ancient sites here, and Tell Harrah, 
overlooking the Waters of Merom, may be the site of 
Sisera' s head-quarters. 

Of the remaining cities in the borders of Nnphtali, 


HeUph has been identified with Beitlif , a ruined site, on 
the edge of a ravine far west of Kedesh, and which pro- 
bably formed the boundary-line between Naplitali and 
Asher. Jahneel, which the Talmud tells us was called 
Yama, is tlie modern Yemma, near Tabor. Xekeb, taken 
by Thothmes III., has been assigned to Saiyadeh or 
Hazedhi, further east, a corruption of the later name of 
Nekeb. But a far more satisfactory identification has 
been recently discovered in Nakib, a site in the Ard el 
Hamma, the plain between Tabor and the Sea of Galilee. 
Adami, also taken by Thothmes III., still retains its name 
as Damieh, and Lakum may be traced in Kefr Kama, 
two miles west of 8ur6na. Adamah, given by Joshua, 
has been recognized in Kh. Admah, a small ruin on a 
Tell, five miles south-west of the Lake of Galilee. It is 
possible, however, that Kh. Admah represents Adami, 
which was on the border of Naphtali, and that Adamah 
-is the modern village El Damieh. Janoah, the modern 
Yaniih, is near the western limits of the territory of this 
tribe. It was taken by Tiglath-Pileser in his first 
invasion. Dihlath, only once mentioned (Ezek. vi. 14), 
has by some been supposed to ])e Rihlah. It must, from 
the context, have l)een in the extreme north, and is 
possibly the village Dibl, on the north boundary of 
Naphtali, where there are some early Christian remains 
and tombs. 

Towards the extreme north of the land of Israel was 
]ieth-r('Ji.ol>, first mentioned in Numb. xiii. 21, as the 
furthest place visited l)y the spies : " llohob, as men 
come to Hamath." Wo also road that Lai.^h, or Dan, 
was *' in the valley that lietli by Jkth-rehoh " (Judg. 
xviii. 28). It is spoken of as a Syrian dependency in 
the time of David (2 Sam. x. 6 — 8). From the various 
allusions to its position, Jkth-rehoh seems, as Dr. Robin- 
son has argued, to agree exactly with tlie modern Hunin, 
where there is a fine iiiIikmI castle* on the edm* of tlie 


heights, wliero thc^ road descends, seven miles north of 
Kedesli, toward tlie valley that leads to Ijaish. The 
moat of the castle has been hewn out of the rock, and 
it has been from the earliest times a fortress of import 
ance. Every kind of architecture may be traced here : 
the old Jewish bevel, Roman arches, Saracenic and 
Crusading masonry, and modern hovels over all. It 
stands just where the road from the south to Hamath 
leads into the Buka'a or Plain of Ca3le Syria, on the way 
to Hamath. 

Lower down on the edge of the slopes, three miles to 
the north-east, is Abil, a small village on a knoll, re- 
presenting the ancient Ahel-heth-Maachah, or Ahel-Maim 
(2 Chron. xvi. 4), named along with Laish and Hazor 
in the lists of the conquests of Thothmes III. — a city 
of Naphtali, first mentioned as the place where Joab 
besieged the rebel Sheba, and which was saved by the 
persuasion of a wise woman, who induced her townsmen 
to deliver up the head of the traitor (2 Sam. xx. 14 — 22). 
It was afterwards taken by Shishak. Being so near the 
frontier, Abel was an early sufferer from the invasions 
of Benhadad (1 Kings xv. 20) ; and was finally carried 
captive by Tiglath-Pileser into Assyria (2 Kings xv. 29). 

North of Abel-beth-Maachah was Ijon, probably the 
northern limit of the tribe, which shared the same fate 
at the hands both of Syrian and Assyrian. The name 
is preserved in the little plain, called Merj Ayun, the 
Arabic equivalent of Ijon, about seven miles north of 
Abil, at the upper end of which a round hill, covered 
with the remains of a strong city, and called Tell Dibbin, 
marks the site of the ancient Ijon, in the Valley of the 
Hasbany, or Upper Jordan. Conder suggests the village 
El Khiam, a village a little south of this, on the east 
side of the Merj Ayim. Either site is on the extreme 
boundary of the tribe. 

Four miles south of El Khiam, on the l)anks of the 


Hasbany, or Upper Jordan, the village of Luweiziyeh 
is suggested by Conder as possibly the '• Iaiz in the land 
of the Hittites," founded by an exile from Bethel, the 
original Luz (Judg. i. 26). 

Ayiin is to the west of Mount Hermon. Following 
down the course of the Hasbany till it descends into 
the Plain of Merom, we cross the river, leaving the 
territory of Naphtali, and at the head of the plain, at 
the south-west angle of the base of Mount Hermon, a 
singularly shaped, flat-topped circular mound, half a 
mile in diameter, but only eighty feet high, bears still 
the name of "Tell Kadi," "the Mound of the Judge," 
or " Dan," the ancient Ban^ the still more ancient Laish 
enumerated by Thothmes III. in the Karnak list of con- 
quered towns. It also bore the name of Leshem (Josh, 
xix. 47). 

It is first named in Scripture when Abraham pursued 
Chedorlaoiner up the Jordan Valley unto Dan, and 
rescued his captives (Gen. xiv. 15). It was afterwards 
settled by a colony from Zidon ; and in the rich plain 
"the people of Laish dwelt, careless, quiet, and secure," 
till the Ph(cnician colonists were suddenly surprised by 
the onslaught of the expedition of six hundred Danites 
in search of a new settlement. Tiieso adventurers, un- 
scrupulous alike in things sacred and profane, stole the 
teraphim and graven image from Micah of Mount 
Fiphraim, on their way, and carried off also his Levite 
to ofliciiite as their priest in their new colony (Judg. 
xviii.). In this place, the north eastern extremity of his 
kingdom, Jeroboam sot up one of the golden calves, and 
established his idolatrous worship to suit the conve- 
nience of the northern tribes, and to prevent their being 
tempted to niiike w. ])ilgriinago to Jerusalem (1 Kings 
xii. 28-33). 

'I'he name of Dan is most familiar as tliat of the 
nortluM-n holder city. " I'roni I );ni even to l»eersliebM " 


became a common proverb for the whole extent of the 
hind from north to south. Dan is only once specially 
mentioned after its con(|uest, and that is when it was 
taken and })illaged by Benhadad (1 Kings xv. 20). The 
capture of Laish, and tlie settlement of a southern tribe 
so far north, was a fulfilment of the prophecy, "Dan is 
a lion's whelp : he shall leap from Bashan " (Dent. 
xxxiii. 22). 

On the higher part of the mound to the south, ruined 
foundations can still be traced, where tradition places 
the temple of the Golden Calf. Nature's gifts are here 
poured forth in lavish profusion, but man has deserted 
it. Yet it would be difficult to find a more lovely situa- 
tion than where " the men of Laish dwelt quiet and 
secure — a place where there is no want of any thing 
that is in the earth" (Judg. xviii. 10). Here, too, is 
what is considered the source of the Jordan. On the 
west side of the mound an impenetrable thicket of oaks, 
oleanders, and reeds entirely conceals the shapeless ruin, 
and beneath them burst forth the " lower springs " of 
Jordan, a wonderful fountain like a large bubbling 
basin, the largest spring in Syria, and said to be the 
largest single spring in the world, where the drainage of 
the southern side of Hermon seems to have found a 
collective exit. Full-grown at birth, at once larger than 
the Hasbany, which it joins, the river, here called 
Leddan, perhaps from ancient Dan, dashes through an 
oleander thicket. 

Three miles further on, this stream is joined by that 
from Banias {iJcesarea PJiilij)2n) above, and in another 
mile the two unite with the Hasbany to work their 
way through the morasses of Meron, and are from this 
point called the Jordan. The true source of the river, 
measured by distance, is far further to the north. The 
Nahr Hasbany is to the Jordan what the Missouri is to 
the Mississippi, and it takes its rise in the Wady et 


Teim, far away to the north of Hermon, fed by the 
drainage from the northern side of the mountain, and 
tlience skirting its western base. 

From Dan (Tell Kadi) we begin to mount the south- 
western shoulders of Hermon, and passing through olive- 
groves and woods of noble oak-trees, in five miles reach 
Banias, the Ccesarea Philipjn of the New Testament, 
Baal-Gad of the Old Testament, and Paneas of the 
Greeks, and probably the Bel Gidda. of the Amarna 
tablets. The sitviation is magnificent, with tall lime- 
stone cliffs north and east, rugged torrents of basalt to 
the south, and a gentle wooded slope for its western 
front. Though its history is long, its remains are not 
remarkable, the most perfect being the citadel and the 
fine Boman bridge over the gushing torrent of Banias, 
and the tablets carved in the cliff over the fountain, or 
"upper spring" of Jordan. At the base of a cliff 100 
feet high is a cave, at the mouth of which the liver 
starts forth, and water oozes from the gravel on all 
sides to join it. This cave was the grotto of Pan ; and 
the sanctuary, or Greek temple, of which the ruins 
strew the ground, marked the seat of the idolatrous 
worship whence the name of Paneas was derived. Here 
Herod the Great l)uilt a splendid temple in honour of 
Augustus. Philip the Tetrarch afterwards beautified 
this temple, and gave the place the name of Ccesarea 
Bli'dippi, in honour of Tiberius, adding his own name to 
distinguish it from Caisarea on the coast. Everywhere 
around tlio ruins is a Avild medley of cascades, mulberry- 
trees, fig-trees, dasliing torrents, festoons of vines, 
l)ubl)ling fountains, reeds, and the mingled music of 
V)irds and waters. 

The Ivonian name hiis l)oeu long forgotten, and the 
old oiK^ still clings to tlio place uiid(M' the form of r>ani;vs. 
Ihit tliero is i-oason to believe it lind ;i yet older, ;ind 
thiit it is t])e '' llrl Gid.hir' (,r l,ll(^ Am.ini.i tnblets, the 

Ul'i'iai (iALlIJCE TO lIlillMON 333 

" I)<L(d-Gad,'^ ill tlK3 vtiUoy of lj(j})a,iioii, " under Mount 
Hormon/' of Josli. xi. 17, xii, G, which was the north- 
western limit of the land, spoken of as Dan was in after 
times; as llaniath or Aniati.i of Thothmes III. was the 
extreme north-east; and " Mount //a/a/.; that goeth up 
to Seir '' the extreme southern limit. 

But the one thing which impresses the interest of 
Banias more deeply than its ruins, its scenery, history, 
or fountain, is that into " the coasts of CcEsarea ritilipjyi " 
our Redeemer came (Matt. xvi. 13 ; Mark viii. 27). 
Among these rocks St. Peter confessed His divinity— 
that confession which was the " Kock of the Church." 
Six days at least did He sojourn here. From hence He 
took the chosen three up into that mountain of Herinon 
behind, and was transfigured before them. Here was 
set that wondrous seal to the resurrection of the body as 
well as to His Godhead. Hence He set His face for the 
last time to go up to Jerusalem, and here unfolded His 
coming Passion. Perhaps it was on the open space, in 
the pathway that leads up to this mountain (the only 
path up from Banias), that He healed the demoniac 
boy, and taught His disciples the power of faith. 

On a bold bluff 1000 feet above the town stands the 
Castle of Subeibeh, one of the grandest and most perfect 
ruins in Syria. There is the rock-hewn fosse, the 
ancient Phcenician substructure of great bevelled stones, 
the Boman arches, and Crusading or Saracenic chambers 
and arches over all. Some noble cisterns still contain 
a large supply of water, and several Saracenic halls and 
long corridors are quite perfect. The building is over 
1000 feet long and 200 wide, with a separate or inner 
citadel. It was the easternmost of the line of great 
castles which protected the northern frontier, fii'st 
Phoenician strongholds, then Jewish frontier fortresses, 
and made use of in after ages by the successive holders 
of the country. 


There are several retired platforms on Mount Hermon 
behind this, the last recess of Palestine, where the scene 
of the Transfiguration may have occurred, with the dis- 
ciples "apart by themselves." 

Hermon itself, although its peak w^as scarcely within 
the limits of the Holy Land, yet, as its southern, eastern, 
and western slopes were shared by the three tribes of 
Dan, Naphtali, and Manasseh, must be considered a 
mountain of Palestine, of which it was the north-western 
boundary. It is the culminating point of the anti- 
Lebanon range, the watershed east of Jordan, and which, 
in its prolongation, forms the mountain ranges of 
Bashan, Gilead, and Moab. It towers into the region 
of perpetual snow, 9200 feet above the sea, and worthily 
holds the name of " Jebel esh Sheikh," the chief moun- 
tain ; not quite so lofty, indeed, as the summit of 
Lebanon, but, with its isolated white-tipped cone, far 
grander in appearance. Its name llermoii signifies 
" lofty peak." By the Sidonians it was called >Slrlo7i, 
" the glitterer " ; by the Amorites, /iS'Aemr, "the breast- 
plate." " Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion, and 
the Amorites call it Shenir," or Senir (E/ek. xxvii. 5 ; 
T)eut. iii. 9). (See also Cant. iv. 8 ; Ezek. xxvii. 5.) 
It was also called iSlon, " the lofty one " (I)eut. iv. 
28). "As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that 
descended upon the mountains of Zion," /. e. Sion (Ps. 
cxxxiii. 3). Amuna (Cant. iv. 8) is possibly the spur of 
ifermon from which the Iliver Abana takes its rise, 
according to the Mislnia. 

These names are, all of them, forcible and expressive, 
for Hermon was the great landmark of the whole country 
to the northwards. There is scarcely an eminence with 
ii (;()iinnan(ling prospect, from the Dead Sea northwards, 
where; Hermon does not catch the eye. IVom the plains 
of the coast, from the crests of Mount Kphraim, from the 
Jordan Valley, from Uilead and the high lands of Bashan 


alike, that whitc-crownecl cone towers into the blue sky. 
It seems used as an e(|uivalent for "the north." "The 
north, and the south, I'liou hast created them ; Tabor and 
llerinon sliall rejoice in Thy name" (Ps. Ixxxix. 12). 

The crest of Hermon is strewn with ruins and the 
foundation of the circular temple of large hewn stones, as 
well as the remains of a later temple. Both probably 
belonged at different periods to the Baal- worship of 
Syria. Perhaps the earlier one was overthrown by 
Israel, when they held the mountain, in obedience to 
the command to " utterly destroy all the places, wherein 
the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, 
upon the liiijh mountains and upon the hills " (Deut. xii. 
2). It was certainly the centre spot of Syrian idolatry. 
The seven remaining temples of Baal in Syria, wherever 
situated, all face towards Hermon. The mountain is, 
consequently, sometimes called Jkud-llermon (Judg. iii. 
3 ; 1 Chron. v. 23). St. Peter, in reference, doubtless, 
to the Transfiguration, calls it " the holy mountain " (2 
Pet. i. 18). 

Hermon appears, during the flourishing period of the 
Israelitish monarchy, to have been held by the eastern 
portion of the tribe of Manasseh ; for we read, " they 
increased from Bashan unto Baal-Hermon and Senir, 
and unto Mount Hermon " (1 Chron. v. 23). 

The expression, "the dew of Hermon," seems to have 
been proverbial, and is well explained by facts. Hermon, 
unlike most other mountains, springs from its base at 
once. It is more than 10,000 feet above the sunken 
ghor from which it rises, and which seethes in a tropical 
heat. The vapours exhaled by the sun from the vast 
swamps of Huleh rise during the day to the higher 
regions, and, congealed by the snows of the mountain, 
descend nightly in most copious distillation, saturating 
everything on its sides. 




Anher unci riianicia — Boumlaries of each— Gebal — JchcU — Arvad — i?i((t(;-- 
Wcaltli and resources of Aslicr — Mingling witli the lieatheu — Anna, the 
Prophetess— Plain of Acre— yiiihor Jjibnath— lliver 13elus— Accho— Ptole- 
niais — Acre or Akka — Achzib — Zlb — Dan-jaan — Danydn — Cabnl — 
Neiel — Beth-enick — Arakah — Hebron - -Abdon — ' Alxltk—Rchoh — Ununah 
— 'AliiKi — Hamnion— Kanah — Tyre — 8ur — King Hiram — Sieges of 
Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander — Crusaders— William of Tyre — Cathedral — 
I'ort— Prophecies — River Leontes — i<7rtn^— Zarephath— Sarepta — Surafcnti 
— Zidon 0)' Sidon —Sakhi — Commerce— Harbour — Mole — Ruins— Aphek^* 
A/ka — Berothah'— 5et7iii— ^Hamath — Hamah — Northern Frontier. 

We now come to the north-western portion of Palestine, 
that assigned to the tribe of Ashet. This is better known 
as PhiXiHv'ta, though the two are not strictly identicals 
Asher conipriyed a considerable tract of territory south 
of Phoenicia, while the latter, at least in profane history, 
includes a long strip of coast-line north of the bound- 
aries of the Holy Land, and never extended into the 
hill country behind Tyre and Sidon, where many of the 
towns of Asher were situated. The chief towns of 
Ph(cnicia were Tyre and Sidon, by the names of whicli 
the country is commonly expressed in the Old Testa- 
ment. The name Phccnicia signifies in Greek "the 
land of palm-trees." Its native name Avas Canaan, or 
"lowlands," as opposed to Aram, or "highlands," the 
Hebrew name of Syria. Strictly speaking, Pluiaiicia 
only extended from Kas-ol-Abiad, or the Ladder of 
Tyr(!, a bold headland north of the Plain of Acre, to the 
headlands which push out from Lebanon south of Leirut ; 
a narrow plain twenty-eight miles long aiid from one to 
five miles wide. 


Afterwards, PhdMiicia, was spoken of as extending far 
noitli of ]>eirut, tlie Jkrothah or Ikrothai of 2 Ham. viii. 
1, and Ezek. xlvii. IG, to Gehal now Jebeil, and Trij)olw, 
or Tar ill) Ins, and Arrad now Kuad. These places are 
mentioned in Ezek. xxvii. <S — 11, as among the depend- 
encies of Tyre. AH these places ai-o repeatedly named 
in the Amarna letters, many of which are dated from 
Berutu (Beirut) or Guhla (Jebeil). From them it 
appears that all this PhcTonician coast had been vassals 
of Egypt, but that led by Arada (Er Ruad) and Duruhli 
(Tarablus) they had revolted. The King of Guhla 
(Gebal), Ribadda, remained faithful to Amenhotep 
III., to whom his letters are addressed. The men 
of Arvad were already at that early date pre-eminent 
in ship-building, and on the revolt of the island 
city, Ribadda writes to Amenhotep, suggesting imme- 
diate reprisals, and that he should capture the ships 
of Arvad, which appear to have been trading in the Delta. 
The name Phoenicia only occurs in the New Testament, 
and no indication is there given of the boundaries or 
localities assigned to it. 

Asher does not seem to have embraced the whole of 
the strip of coast-line in its northern portion. Its bound- 
aries are given (Josh. xix. 28, 29) as " unto great Zion," 
" and to the strong city Tyre." At all events, it never 
had these cities in actual possession ; and the league of 
friendship between David and Hiram, King of Tyre, con- 
tinued and cemented by Solomon, would seem to indicate 
that Tyre was scarcely looked upon as within the limits 
of Israel. Zidon, howevar, clearly was within the limits 
of Asher. (See Judg. i. 31.) 

The boundaries of Asher, so far as we can trace them, 
seem to have run south of Carmel from Do7\ embracing 
Mount Caimel and the coast of the Plain of Acre, run- 
ning far east among the hills of Galilee, conterminous 
with Zebulun and Naphtali, as far as A /dab, or Giscala 



(el Jish) ; and thence sloping north-east till it reached 
KanaJi, north-east of Zidon, whence it turned down to 
the shore. This territory must therefore have been one 
of the richest in the whole land, as well as more 
extensive than many. 

At the numbering of Israel in the wilderness, Asher 
was by no means the smallest of the tribes, and it had 
maintained its position in the time of David (Numb, 
i. 41 ; 1 Chron. xii. 36). Yet the history of the tribe 
is obscure and inglorious. He shared to the full the 
temporal blessings promised him, and with the usual 
deadening results of worldly 23rosperity. In his rich 
soil, according to the promises of Jacob, his bread was 
fat, and he yielded royal dainties (Gen. xlix. 20) in the 
crops of the Plain of Acre, and the rich olive-groves and 
orchards of Phojnicia. Moses promised, *' Let Asher 
be blessed with children ; let him be acceptable to his 
brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes 
shall be iron and brass ; and as thy days, so shall thy 
strength be " (Deut, xxxiii. 24, 25). The record proves 
how he was blessed with children ; the olive-yards on 
the south-western shores of Ijcbanon are, to this day, 
the most extensive in the country; and in the foundries 
and copper and bronze work of Tyre and Sidon were 
the iron and brass for his shoes. 

The consequence of this mingling among the heathen 
is soon evident in the subsequent history. First, there 
is the long catalogue of cities (Judg. i. 31) from which 
Asher did not drive out the inhabitants ; but whereas, 
in the case of most of the other tribes which did not gain 
complete possession of their cities, we arc told either 
that they could not di-ive them, or that they put them to 
tribute ; of Asher alone we have the signilicant remark, 
''The Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the in- 
habitants of (lie 1:111(1, for they did not drive them out " 
(Judg. i. 32). 


Bitter is tlio ro])ronoli cnst on tliis tii))e, alrendy 
denationalized and its pjitT'iotisni eaten out by coni- 
meree, in t]ie triuiiipliant song of ])eborali, " A.sher 
continued on the sea shore, and a,bode in his creeks (or 
harbours)" (Judg. v. 17), while their neighbours, for 
their country, " jeoparded their lives unto the death." 
Asher never supplied a judge or a nder to Israel, and 
no warrior or hero sprang from the tril)e. The only 
proof given tha,t the tribe had not become utterly 
absorbed in the idolatry as well as the commerce of 
Tyre and Sidon, is, that divers of Asher accepted the 
invitation of Hezekiah to the Passover, and huml>led 
themselves and to Jerusalem (2 Chron. xxx. 11). 

One na^me only of the tribe of Asher shines out of the 
general obscurity — the aged widow " Anna, the daughter 
of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser," who, in the very close 
of the Jewish history, " departed not from the Temple, 
but served God with fastings and prayers night and 
day," till at the age of eighty-four she was rewarded 
with the sight of the infant Messiah, and 'Sspake of Him 
to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem " 
(Luke ii. 3r3— 38). 

Wh.en we come to examine the cities of this part of 
Israel in detail, we find more than usual difficulty in 
identification, from our imperfect knowledge of the way 
in which the boundaries are laid down. At all events, 
Asher extended as far south as Dor ; and the towns in 
that neighbourhood have already been discussed under 
Mount Carmel. Between Carmel and the headlands 
which separate the Plain of Phoenicia from that of Acre, 
was the fairest portion of Asher's heritage, embracing 
its "creeks" (translated ''breaches" in our Version), 
Achsaph or Hhaiffa, already noticed, Accho and Achzih. 

/Shihor Libnath (Josh. xix. 26) seems to have been 
near the south limits of the tribe. It is probably the 


Wady Shaghur, in the south of the plain, flowing into 
the Belus. It is thus more than an ingenious guess 
that identifies it with the Nahr Naman, the river Belus 
of the ancients, which drains the pUxin near Acre, and 
which is celebrated as the site of the first invention of 
the art of glass-making by the Tyrians ; the Hebrew 
name being interpreted to mean ''glass-river." 

From the very earliest times, the most important 
place in the Plain of Acre has been the town of Acre 
itself, practically the sole access by sea to the Plain of 
Esdraelon and the interior of Central Palestine. It has 
been called the key of Palestine ; and it has been re- 
marked that the lord of Acre may, if it please him, cause 
a famine to be felt even over all Syria. One only bay 
indents the straight coast-line of Palestine. Carmel 
forms the southern horn of the crescent, with the road- 
stead of Hhaift'a within it. The northern horn termin- 
ates in a little tongue of land, formerly extended by a 
mole to form a harbour. On this headland stood A echo, 
a Ph(enician town, of great antiquity and importance, 
letters from which are in the Amarna collection, in the 
Canaanite period ; and which Asher never subdued (Judg. 
i. 31), nor is it ever again mentioned in the Old Test- 
ament. During the dynasty of Alexander's successors, 
the Ptolemies of Egypt, its name was changed to Ptoh- 
inah, which it letained throughout the Roman period, 
it is onco nu'utioncd in tlio New Testament as having 
been visited l)y St. PmuI for n. d:iy on his last journey to 
Jerusalem (Acts xxi. 7). 

Afterwards tlio old u.nno reviv^<Ml under its present 
foiin of Ahh(. or Acrc^,' mimI it Im'cmhk^ the thejitre of the 

' Jit.-("ol. Condiu- rcniJirks tlif inodcrn spolHiig of 
" Akkii" is lu^iiivr the I'lLjyptian, /. r. (.'.iiinJiiiitt'. spclliiitf luifort' the 
KxoduM tliiiii ill (he llflntiu. lie pnitils out that tins is tlio cas(^ 
with ShiJoli and niiuiy other iiii|)oitaiit, towns; and roasoiiahly 
iiifuis rrniii JKMice tin; (.'aiiaaiiitish descoiit of the \\\oi\c\nJ'cN(ihiii, 


most eventful scenes in the stirring history of tlie 
Crusades. It was captured by King Baldwin, a.d. 1 104, 
but surrendered to Saladin after the l)attlo of Hattin, 
A.D. 1187. In A.D. 1191 it was retaken by Richard I. 
of England, Philip of France, and their allies, and in 
A.D. 1229 became the seat of the kingdom of Jerusalem, 
and was defended successfully by Edward I. of England. 
Finally, in A.D. 1291, it was besieged by the Sultan 
Khalil, at the head of 200,000 men ; the city was 
stormed ; 60,000 Christians were either slaughtered or 
sold as slaves. The Knights Templars were butchered 
almost to a man. King Lusignan escaped to Cyprus ; 
the last effort of the Crusades was crushed, and, in the 
words of Gibbon, " a mournful and solitary silence pre- 
vailed along the coast which had so long resounded with 
the world's debate." 

Acre belongs also to modern and to English history. 
It was besieged by Napoleon in 1799. Sir Sydney 
Smith, with a handfid of sailors, drove back the re- 
peated French assaults, and compelled the invader to 
raise the siege, thus baffling his dreams of Eastern 
conquest. Again, in 1840, Admiral Stopford and Sir 
Charles Napier Ijombarded and almost destroyed the 
town, and were the principal means of the expulsion of 
Ibrahim Pacha from Syria, and the restoration of the 
country to Turkish rule. 

There are few remains of antiquity in Acre, and 
nothing but its name older than the Crusades. 

Seven miles north of Acre is another old Phoenician 
port, Achzib (Josh. xix. 29), from which the Canaanites 
were not expelled (Judg. i. 31) ; now Zib, a little hamlet 
on the shore with traces of the old port, but not a fishing- 

Avlio have preserved, not tlie Hebrew, mucli less the Greek or Roman, 
but the Prse- Israelite nomenclature. The vernacular of the present 
day corresponds closely with the Cauaanite forms found in the 
lists of Thothmes III. more than a century before the Exodus. 


boat nor a vestige of commerce. A little stream here 
falls into the sea, the Nahr Herdawil, fed from the 
Wady Kurn, which runs up into a fine and rich portion 
of Galilee, full of ruins, Phoenician, Greek, and Sara- 
cenic, but except for the survey of the P. S. Fund, 
scarcely yet explored. The castle of Kurn is one of the 
finest in the country, and a sister fortress to Tibnin 
and Subeibeh, evidently originally a Tyrian stronghold, 
from the character of its masonry. 

Three miles north of Achzib, and two miles due east 
from R,as en Nakura, are some ruins on a knoll, called 
Kh. Danyan. These have been supposed to represent 
Dan-jaan, i. e. " Dan in the wood " (2 Sam xxiv. 6). 
But it seems more probable that the place mentioned as 
visited by Joab in his census, was the Northern Dan, 
called " in the wood," to distinguish it from the 
southern settlement of the tribe. Danuna, identified 
with Dan-jaan, is mentioned in the Amarna letters as 
a neighbouring city of Tyre. 

In the interior of the plain behind Acre and Achzib, 
on the edge of the hill country, we may trace several of 
the old towns of Asher. Cahul, the name of which has 
remained unchanged by a letter, is now a small village, 
and is situated about eight or nine miles east by south 
of Acre, on the edge of the Galilean hills and about five 
miles west of Jotajjata or Jefat. It was a border city 
of Asher, and only occurs once again in Scripture, when 
we read that SolonK)n gave twenty cities in Galilee to 
Hiram, in return for his aid in building the Temple (1 
Kings ix. 11- -14). It would scorn tliat tlio population 
was tltou cliiclly (Jcutilc, or Solomon would not liavo 
tnmsferrod liis own countrymen to .i r()r(Mgn rulei- 
llir;i,in Ixiing dissatislied witli Ihem, cmIIimI thcni CoJuil^ 
jil'ter the name of tliis one of tlieni, whic^li signified in 
Plidvnician, though not in Hebrew, '' displeasing " or 
" worthless." 


A short distance east of Cabul is Mi'ar, a ruined site 
on a lofty crest of a liill, which has been identified with 
Neiel (Josh. xix. 27), because of its position according to 
the record between Cabul and Jefat. Conder proposes 
the village of Y'anin, two miles nearer Acca. Either 
site meets the topographical conditions. 

Some way north of these, in the plain at the foot of 
the hills, is Amkah, the Beth-emek of Joshua. There are 
no remains of great antiquity left above ground here. 
Beth-dacjon, the next place given, seems to have been at 
the western end of the boundary of Zebulun, i. e. on 
the river Belus, on the banks of which it is represented 
by Tell Dauk. AlotJi (1 Kings iv. 16) is probably marked 
by 'Alia, with the same meaning, the position of which 
suits the division into districts. 

Hebron or Abron, quite a different word in the Hebrew 
from the Hebron of Judah, seems to be the same as the 
Abdon afterwards given (Josh. xxi. 30) to the Levites, 
and which may be recognized in 'Abdeh, ten miles north 
of Acca, a most interesting group of ruins at the very 
north of the Plain of Acre, on the banks of the Wady 
Kurn, just where it opens into the plain. I examined 
this place carefully, and found traces of a very extensive 
town, with sculptures of the Greek period, and a solitary 
column standing out in the plain at no great distance. 
It is a commanding position overlooking Achzib. 

Next to Abron is mentioned liehob. There were two 
cities of the name in Asher, besides a third identified 
by Robinson with Hunin near Merom, visited by the 
spies, and already referred to. Neither of these Rehobs 
has yet been discovered. One of them was a Levitical 

From 'Abdeh and Zib we now climb the headland 
Ras-en-Nakura, sometimes called " the Ladder of Tyre," 
which more strictly is confined to Ras-el-Abiad, and 
which, boldly pushing out into the sea, and many 


hundred feet high, completely shuts out Palestine from 
Phoenicia. Six miles north of it is another bold pro- 
montory, Pas-el-Abiad, " the White Cape," and between 
them a rough crescent-shaped plain, with many villages 
among the roots of the hills ; among these is 'Alma, a 
Christian village now chiefly Protestant, standing on the 
top of the ridge, five miles from the sea. Every hill-top 
near it has a name and a ruin, some of them of walled 
cities ; but not one is inhabited save by tent-dw^ellers 
occasionally. 'Alma is conjectured by Dr. Pobinson to 
be identical with Ummah (Josh. xix. 30). 

Just to the north of 'Alma one of these mounds bears 
the name of Hamul, probably the Ilavivwn of the same 

Descending into the plain and proceeding eight miles 
north-east to the spurs of the Galilean hills, Kaiiah, an 
inhabited village retired among the hills, behind the 
celebrated Tomb of Hiram, still preserves the name of 
some Kanah of A slier, unchanged. Bui; tlie Kanah 
mentioned by Joshua (ch. xix. 28) seems to have been 
further north, nearer Zidon, where, twenty miles north 
of this, on the edge of the hills, ten miles inland, but 
in sight of Sidon, a village, Ain Kanah, still remains, 
and there are many traces of better days, olive-presses 
and square cisterns, and especially some weather-beaten 
and coarsely hewn figures of men in the cliff below, 
standing out in bold relief from the lock, but unaccom- 
panied by other traces of anti(|uity. They are evidently 
far older than any Creek remains, and must be Phuiuician. 
They are described in detail by Penan. 

Ramiah, mentioned close to Tyre, though a heap of 
ruins, still preserves its name, three mih^s inland frcmi 
that city. 

Tyre itself, 7b>/- of the Itebrew, Sur of tlie modern 
Arabs, signifying " rock," was founded, according to 
Herodotus, who obtained liis infoiiaation on I lie spot, 

I'llCENICIA — TKllJE OF ASllKU o4:0 

2750 i{.(;., nor docs its antiquity appear to be at all 
exag*!jeratcd in the light of later discoveries. Among 
the Tell-el-Amarna tablets are several letters from 
Abimelech, King of Tyre [Zuru as the Egyptians called 
it), to Amenhotep III., of Egypt, which show Tyre to 
have been at the date of the Exodus in a state of 
hostility to Sidon, Tyre is first mentioned in Scripture 
among the cities of the district of Asher, " the strong 


city Tyre," but does not occur again till the time of 
David. It was up to this period probably the dependent, 
as it was certainly the daughter city of Zidon. It was 
originally a rocky islet, separated from the mainland, on 
which also stood another city, called Palcetyrus, or Old 
Tyre. The main city continued thus insular until 
united to the mainland by a mole, by Alexander the 

The population of " the stronghold of Tyre " would 
appear to have been included in the census of Joab 
(2 Sam. xxiv. 7); but this was probably only the Israelite 


residents, as it is certain that David was on terms of 
amity with the Tyrian king, ''for Hiram was ever a 
lover of David" (1 Kings v. 1). Indeed, the first time 
that Tyre prominently occurs in Scripture history, is 
when Hiram sent David cedar-trees, and carpenters and 
masons to build his palace. Afterwards, as we learn 
from 1 Kings v., 2 Chron. ii., he rendered still more 
important aid to Solomon in building the Temple at 
Jerusalem, sending him not only cunning workmen — 
Hiram, the widow's son of Naphtali, but a Tyrian by 
his father's side, a skilled brassfounder, with carpenters, 
masons, sculptors, and men skilled in all kinds of 
metal work — but also supplying woodmen to fell trees 
in Lebanon and send them down by rafts to Joppa. 
Solomon, in return, afforded scope for an extension of 
Phoenician commerce, by allowing his sailors the use 
of Ezion-geber, the Israelitish port on the Bed Sea, 
where trade was opened to the far East (1 Kings ix. 

Tyre scarcely occurs again in Bible history as dis- 
tinct from Zidon, till the times of the later prophets, 
when the relations of the kingdoms had much changed 
(Joel iii., Amos i.), when we find Tyre denounced for 
its cruel trade in Hebrew captives to the neighbour- 
ing nations and to the Greeks. After the overthrow of 
the kingdom of Israel by Assyria, Shalmaneser vainly 
attempted the siege of Tyre, then the chief city of 
Pluxjiiicia, and blockaded it for five years. This is 
probably referred to by Isaiah, chap, xxiii. It soon 
recovered its prosperity, until Nebuchadnezzar again 
laid siogo to it. it rosiste*! his arms for the long space 
of thiiteon years, during wlnCli ii. was blockaded by 
land. As Ez(!ki(>I says (xxix. IS), "Nebuchadnezzar 
king of lia.bylon caused liis army to serve a. great 
service against I'yrus." Yet it does not clearly appear 
that he actually stormed it. The passage in Ezekiel 


(xxix. 18 — 20) would seem rather to imply tlie contrary. 
It seems probable that without an actual capitulation 
Tyre submitted to the supremacy of Babylon, and thus 
purchased her commercial freedom. 

The 27tli chapter of E/.ekiel presents a wonderful 
picture of the vast trade, manufactures, and commercial 
connection of Tyre, embracing every quarter of the 
then known world, and every commodity which wealth 
and luxury could command. Her trade extended from 
Persia, and perhaps India, to Spain : her mercenaries 
and mechanics were drawn alike from the three conti- 
nents. Her merchandise embraced all the then known 
metals : gold from India ; silver, iron, lead, and tin 
from Spain ; copper from Cyprus ; wheat and cereals, 
honey, oil, and balm fi;-om Palestine ; wools from Arabia ; 
ivory and ebony from the far East ; linen fabrics from 
Egypt ; dyes from Greece ; wines from Syria ; and every 
kind of jewellery from Damascus. 

Tyre submitted on easy terms to the Persian supe- 
riority, and assisted in building the second Temple, as it 
had the first (Ezra iii. 7). After a practical independ- 
ence of two hundred years, Tyre alone of the Phoeni- 
cian cities refused submission to the third Greek empire, 
and cost Alexander the Great a siege of seven months 
before he took it, which he only accomplished by making 
a causeway from the mainland. He sold 30,000 of the 
free women and children as slaves, and slaughtered its 

The Romans gave Tyre municipal privileges, and it 
continued to flourish, and escaped destruction at the hands 
of the Mohammedan invaders on condition of its submis- 
sion to the conqueroi's. It was taken by tlie (Jrusa,ders 
in A.D. 1 124, and William of Tyre, the celebrated his- 
torian and a Erenchman, became its archbishop. In 
A.D, 1291 it surrendered to the Saracens, and has 
ever since continued to decline. A century ago it had 



fallen so low, that it contained but about ten fishermen, 
its only inhabitants ; but has lately risen to a compara- 
tively flourishing town of about 4000 inhabitants. 

At present a desolate ridge of sand connects Tyre 
with the broad plain beyond, heaped by the sea-drift 
upon the causeway which Alexander made to connect 
the island with the mainland. Though Tyre has risen 
again within a century, yet the filth and squalor of the 
little town are unsurpassed in Syria. Scanty bazaars 
about five feet wide, wattled over at intervals with 


decayed sticks and palm-leaves ; dilapidated, windowless 
hovels, rais('d among huge fragments of polisluid granite 
and I><>rphyry columns prostrate in rubbish — -such is 
modern lyre. For half a mile the sea flows to the 
(h^pth of a. foot or two oviU" ILit rocks, covered by one 
mass of broken columns, leaning or ju'ostrate, in bewil- 
d<Ting confusion, as if pitched pell-mell into the water. 
^I'his is Tyre: *'the waters hnve covered her." 
" Slio is a ])la(;e for fishormcm to spread their nets on." 
Tlic columiis, blackened by the s.ilt water, appear to 
have oeeii smooth, and not Ihited, but Mu>y are iiow 


fretted niul perforated by ages of exposure to storm and 
tempest. They are still quite sufficient to a^ttest the 
ii^randeur of the latter or lioman Tyre, to which, doubt- 
less, they belong. 

The only building easily recognizcsd is the skeleton of 
the old cathedral, once the jfinest church in Syria, now 
an utter ruin, with a few miserable hovels plastered in 
its corners. The walls of the apse, part of that at the 
west end, and some massive buttresses remain, showinc 
it to have been 200 feet long by about 140 feet wide. 
Yet of this church Paulinus was bishop in the days 
of the Constantines, Eusebius wrote the consecration 
oration, still extant, for its opening service. Here was 
performed almost the last religious service ever held 
by the Crusaders in the Holy Land. Here moulders 
the dust of the great Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, 
who died at Tarsus, and whose body was carried down 
the coast to Tyre, to rest beside the bones of a yet 
greater man — Origen. 

Revived and rebuilt, time after time, and age after 
age, it would be vain to seek for the ruins of the Tyre of 
Hiram and Solomon. The ruins that are exhumed to- 
day yield evidence that they were built of the fragments 
of the latter imperial city. Excavations are made for 
quarrying, and the massive foundations wdiich are U2> 
rooted are themselves foi-med largely of fragments of 
polished Egyptian granite columns. 

There are traces, too, of the old trade and manufac- 
tures of Tyre, in the abundance of fragments of glass 
variously coloured, and of deposits of shells which have 
been crushed for making the famous Tyrian purple dye. 
Part of the old sea-wall remains ; but the little ha,rl)Our 
is nearly choked with sand on the north of the causeway. 
The south harbour is entirely silted up. 

There are traces of the old wells in insular Tyre, and 
several are still used close to the shore on the mainland. 



It is interesting to note, as an illustration of the history 
of Tyre, how along this coast we frequently find deep 
wells of fresh water within a few feet of the sea. One 
of these with ancient masonry is still used by the in- 
habitants of modern Tyre, and is known as " Hiram's 

The prophecies of Ezekiel seem on the spot like his- 
tories of Tyre. Its capture by Alexander the Great 



exhausted 1o tlie letter the inspired predictions: "I 
will make her like the top of a rock; it shall be the 
place for the spreading of m^ts in the midst of the sea, 
for [ have spoken it. They shall lay thy stones, .-md 
thy tind)er, and thy dust, in the midst of the water. I 
will also scrape her dust from her " (K/ek. xxvi. 4, 5, 
12). Tli(? iirst fullilnient may have ))een complete cen- 
turies ago. Tyre may have arisen again and again from 
Ik'I- niiiis, and may rise a lifth lime. The I'ha^nician 


power which Is;iiah and Ezekiel denounced has long 
since perished utterly ; and, though tlie later Tyres have 
liad no connection save a geograpliical one, yet their 
successive dooms, and the wretched present, at least add 
force and power to the scriptural warning. 

We have no positive mention of our Lord ever having 
actually visited Tyre. He must, however, have passed 
veiy near to it, if He did not entei- it, on the occasion 
of His healing the daughtei* of the woman of Canaan 
(Matt, XV. 21, etc.). And among His hearers, previous 
to that journey, were many from about Tyre and Sidon 
(Mark iii. 8). These hearers were, perhaps, the found- 
ation of the disciples whom Paul found here, when on 
his last voyage to Jerusalem he landed at Tyre, and 
tarried seven days. On his departure we read of the 
brethren with their whole families escorting him to the 
ship, and of their farewell prayers together on the shore 
(Acts xxi. 3 — 6). 

Six miles from Tyre, among the hills, stands, in a 
very perfect condition, a noble old Phoenician torn!) — a 
massive sarcophagus, on a solid pedestal of great hewn 
stones. Local tradition assigns to it the name of 
^'' Hirmn s Tomihr This can neither be proved nor dis- 
proved ; but there it stands in solitary desolation, com- 
manding the sea and that city over which Hiram ruled. 
A noble site for the noble sepulchre of a Tyrian 
monarch ! 

Past Hiram's tomb and Kanah, along the line of 
several wadys, an old road may be traced leading to El 
Jish, the Gisccda of Josephus, quite in the interior, in 
the hill country, west of the Sea of Galilee, and sup- 
posed, with fair reason, to be the Ahlah of Judg. i. 31, 
a frontier town of Asher, from which the Canaanites 
were not driven out. Hosah, the landmark of Asher, 
next to Tyre, is identified with some probability with 
the ruin 'Ezziyah, three miles north of Tyre. 



Between four and five miles north of Tyre, the river 
Leontes or Litany, now the Kasimiyeh, enters the sea 
and is crossed by a bridge. Tliough never mentioned in 
Scripture, it is, next to the Joidan, the largest river in 
Palestine, and its banks, in the greater part of its 

jni.'AM's roMit. 

coiusc, alVoi-d tlie grandest sceiiery in (Jalilee. Kismg 
in tlie plain of ( 'u'lo Syria, and draining the southern 
slopes of the Le])a,non, it makes a rift through Northern 
(^a,lil(M', a, stupendous gorge Un' Mie ujost, part, pursuing 
a soutluTly course parallel to the sea, very n(^ar the 

A A 


head waters of Jordan, till nearly opposite Banias, or 
Coesarea Philippi, it makes a sudden turn to the west 
and runs straight to the sea. 

The shore for eight miles to Surafend (Zarephath) is 
full of ancient sites, with tombs and caves in the hill- 
sides. One of these, Adlan, is supposed to be the 
" Mearah'^ (i.e. cavern) that is beside the "Zidonians" 
(Josh, xiii, 4), and which was not taken by the Israel- 
ites. But Lt.-Col. Conder suggests as more probable 
Moghairiyeh, six miles north-east of Sidon. Caverns, 
natural, and artificially enlarged, abound in the hills of 
this district. 

Zarephath, Misrephoth-Maivi of Joshua, the Sarepta of 
the New Testament (Luke iv. 26), now Surafend, occurs 
as the house of the widow with whom Elijah dwelt 
during the latter part of the three and a half years of 
drought and famine (1 Kings xvii. 9 — 24). It does not 
otherwise occur in the Bible. It was of great antiquity, 
and is mentioned in a letter from Tyre, among the 
Amarna tal)lets. There are few remains, and the 
modern village appears to have moved further from the 
shore than the original town. The old well, still used, 
is within fifty yards of the sea on the sandy shore. The 
insecurity of the shore during the Middle Ages seems to 
have driven the inhabitants to the hills. The remains 
are few, for the very stones have been carried up the hill 
to build the village, out of reach of marauding horsemen. 
For a mile or more are fo\mdations and broken columns. 
There is still a khan by the sca-sido ; and the old 
Crusading chapel, built on the traditional site of the 
widow's house, is turned into a Moslem sanctuary. 

Some pretty Galilean streams, fringed with oleanders^ 
hnvc to bo forded l)etweon Zare])hath and Ztdon, the 
road to which |)msscs along th(; shore for seven miles, the 
Roman pavement being often visil)le. 

Zitlv'ti, or Sidon — i. o. " fishery " — now Saida, is barely 


twenty miles north of Tyre, on a spur wliicli shoots out 
from a low hill a few hundred yards into the sea. Its 
memories carry us back to the world's infancy. It was 
the motiier city of Tyre; and Zidon (Gen. x. 15) was 
tlie first-born of Canaan. Letters fiom its king or 
governor appear among the Amarna collection, which 
show its jiartial dcpondonco on Egypt at tli(^ time of the 
Exodus. It is twice called in Joshua "Groat Zidon," 
and appears long to liave maintained its precedence, 
though in latei* times Tyre became the ruling city, and 
the daughter outgrew the mother. It was manifestly 
the place to which the Canaanites looked for protection, 
as we read there was no deliverer for Laish when it was 
seized by the men of Dan, because " it was far from 
Zidon." It is mentioned in the Iliad of Homer for 
the skill of its daughters in weaving sumptuous robes — 
steeped probably in the world-famed Tyrian dyes. In 
the Odyssey, as well as the Iliad, the Zidonians are 
renowned also for their skill as silversmiths. When 
Solomon would build the Temple of the Loid at Jeru- 
salem, he sends to Hiram not only for an architect, })ut 
for skilled artificers. "There is not among us any that 
can skill to hew timbers like unto the Zidonians." Nor 
must we omit to mention the recently discovered proof 
of the skill of the Zidonians in stone as well as timber, 
in the marks painted in red on the foundation-stones of 
the Temple platform at Jerusalem, and identified as 
Phoenician characters. 

The Phosnicians seemed to have cared little for ex- 
tending their power inland ; hence their peaceful rela- 
tions with Israel. Asher supplied the markets of the 
great cities with fruits and vegetables ; while, busied in 
commerce, absorbed in founding colonies and equipping 
expeditions for distant shores, the Phoenicians, in ordi- 
nary times, were content to leave their neighbours to 
themselves. That strange and mysterious race, now so 


utterly perished, seems to have lived almost on, as well 
as by, the sea, content if they could only hold secure 
their harbours, whether in Western Asia, Africa, or 
distant Cornwall. Not even Venice was so truly 
wedded to the deep. 

From the time of Solomon, Zidon is not often men- 
tioned in direct connection with Israel. The event 
connected with it which most affected the chosen people 
during the monarchy was the marriage of Ahab with 
Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Zidonians. 
In the time of the Prophets Tyre was the leading city, 
and other writers supply particulars of the struggles 
between the two for supremacy. Zidon was involved 
in the same ruin as Israel by the invasion of Shal- 
maneser. It submitted a century later to the army of 
Nebuchadnezzar. Its fleets, after it had fallen under 
the dominion of Persia, bore their share in the attack 
upon Greece by Xerxes, and its sailors were deemed the 
best of all in that vast host. But its history after the 
Captivity is apart from the Sacred record, and it never, 
after the Greek conquest by Alexander, regained its 
former importance, though temporarily revived by the 
Crusaders, and also, 250 years ago, l)y the Druse Emir, 
Fakkr ed Deen. ]>ut its trade has since been diverted 
to the larger harbour of Beirut ; nor is it likely ever to 
be revived. 

It is seldom mentioned in the New Testament ; yet 
once our Lord visited its coasts, and probably passed 
tlnougli Zidon itself on that journey wluui lie healed 
the daughter of tlu^ humble-minded woman of Canaan. 
His fame had already reached Pluenicia, and probably 
He had many disciples in those heatluMi cities (Luke vi. 
17). Jjocal tradition makes Him to have passed through 
Zidon, and to liavo performed the miracle near Zaro- 
phath. It is a very natural tradition, whether founded 
on fact or not, which luis assigned our Lord's visit to 



tlio samo village which was blessed by the sojourn of 
Elijah. The negotiations of Tyre and Sidon with Herod 
Agrii)pa I., and the visit of St. Paul to the })elievers 
tliei-e, complete the New Testament incidents connected 
with Zidon. 

Zidon, the cradle of the world's commerce, has now 
only a few fishing-boats in her harbour. The entrance 


has been narrowed by a pier, built out on arches, now 
in decay, at the end of which stands a massive but 
crumbling towei-. Thus a harbour was formed — small, 
indeed, for the requirements of modern shipping, but 
larger than the famous ports of classic Greece. Along 
the reef we may yet see the traces of Zidonian skill. 
Large blocks of sculptured marble, and many polished 
columns of colossal size, lie strewn at the bottom of the 
sea, and are visible on a calm day, perforated and 
honeycombed by boring-shells. But there yet remain 


on the jagged, fretted rocks, the huge stones of old 
arches, carved doorways, sometimes a fragment of the 
pavement of the quay, immense stones carefully fitted 
into the reef, upon which as a wharf were erected the 
warehouses of Zidon. The holes are still visible where 
the iron stanchions of the gates and mooring-rings were 
attached. But in many places the sea has worn through 
the reef, and makes a clean breach into the harbour. 
It would by this time have swept away much more, but 
for the masses of huge masonry and broken shafts 
which have fallen outside, and form a breastwork 
against the force of the waves. It was on this quay 
that St. Paul landed, when courteously entreated by 
Julius, on his way as a prisoner to Rome (Acts xxvii. 3). 
The modern town, or Saida, is better built than many 
in the East. Its chief trade is that of the coppei'smith, 
and its exports fruit and silk. The walls of many of 
the houses are mosaics of fragments of broken but rare 
and choice marbles, the debris of ancient Zidon. Beau- 
tiful mosaic pavements are frequently to be found among 
the gardens and lanes in the neighbourhood. In one 
thing only does Zidon of to-day recall the past. Its 
luxuriant gardens and orange-groves tell us what the 
whole Plain of Phtcnicia once was, with their wells 
everywhere, "watered by the foot." Zidon is buried 
landwards in these gardens, a wilderness of fruit-trees 
and a rank growth of vegetables beneath their shade. 
About two or three miles north of Zidon the little river 
Auwaly, the ancient liostrenHs, enters the sea : a stream 
wiiicJi, tliuugh not mentioned in the IJible, was looked 
on as the northern coast limit of tlu^ J^aud of Israel. 
The Uiime Jhlbali, (»hidg. i. 31) seems to linger on its 

A few plnccs noi-th of tliis limit are occasionally 
mentioned in Scripture. Jlcrotliah, the modern Beirut, 
has boon already roforrod to (p. 337). Aphek (Josh. 



xix. .')0), or Aphik (Jiidg. i. 31), seems to have been in 
the extreme north of Asher, })ut was never occupied by 
that tribe. It is said (Josh. xiii. 4) to have been on 
"tlie border of the Amorites/' and has been identified 
witli the AjJutca of classic writers, celebrated for its 
Temple of Venus and licentious rites, now Afka, a 
ruined site on the north-west of Lebanon, beyond 

• v< 


Beirut, with magnificent remains of the old temple 
by the Fountain of Adonis, now Nahr Ibrahim. It is 
a spot of strange wildness and beauty, with a stupendous 
precipice overhanging a maze of wood and water. The 
temple was destroyed by Constantine. 

Ilamath is repeatedly mentioned as the northern 
extremity of the Land of Promise, as Kadesh Barnea 
was its southern. It is in the upper valley of the 
Orontes, far beyond the crest of Lebanon, and is still 


a very important town of 30,000 inhabitants, called 
Hamah. From "the entrance of Hamath" (Numb, 
xxxiv. 8) was to be the frontier, i. e. from the pass on 
the watershed of the Leontes and Orontes (see also 
Numb. xiii. 21 ; Josh. xiii. 5). We next read of 
Hamath as an independent state, Avhen (2 Sam. viii. 
9, 10) Toi, its king, sent his son Joram with presents, 
to congratulate King David on his conquest of Toi's 
old enemy Hadadezer, King of Zobab, and probably to 
acknowledge David's suzerainty. Hamath was probably 
also tributary to Solomon, as included in the region 
named 1 Kings iv. 21, for we find that he built "store- 
cities " in Hamath (2 Chron. viii. 4) — like the old 
'* factories " of England in the Levant — colonies of 
Israelite merchants, with their warehouses. At the 
ruptui'e of Israel it became again independent, but was 
recovered 150 years afterwards, by Jeroboam II., King 
of Israel (2 Kings xiv. 28), who dismantled it (Amos 
vi. 2). It was soon afterwards taken by Sennacherib 
(2 Kings xviii. 34), and with this capture its connection 
with Bible history ends. 





Contrast between Eastern and Western Palestine— Bashan—Og — Half-tribe of 
Manasseh — Maehir — Boundaries of Baslian— Geographical and Political 
divisions of Baslian. 

Golan — Gaulanitis— /rt?(^(t/i — Cities of Golan — Sahcm cj Jaukhi—AiAiek — Gani- 
ala — Astaroth — Beeshterah^rt^i ^s/ti* /a/t— Aslitcrotli Karnaim — Jetur — 
Ituraja— /( t^iir— Argob— Traclionitis— Lejah — Descrijjtion of Argob— The 
"chcbd" or " rope "— yixty cities— Battle of Edrei — Havoth-Jaiv— Geshur 
— King Tolmai— Absalom — Edrei— Adraa—i'(?/tr'(t— Ruins, and Giant cities 
—Cyclopean buildings— I>(;r'« — Kenath— Canatha — iL<(.jia2/;«<— Ilepliaiius- 
Kiriathaim— llauran— Auranitis— Salcah —SvJkhad — Citadel— View from 
Salcah— Deserted towns— Betli-ganiul-Onnan—Kcrioth—iiri'yj'eiv/t'/i—Bozrah 
— Bostra — Bmmk — Vast ruins— Bataniea — Balkaiut/eh—Oiik forests— Maa- 

In striking contrast with the west of Palestine, with its 
narrow valleys and broken ridges of hill, crowded with 
towns, and their sides ribbed with terraces, stretches 
forth the wide trans -Jordanic region, in actual extent 
far greater than the whole inheritance of the ten tribes, 
if we except the south country of Judah ; yet having the 
most insignificant bearing on the future history of the 
nation. The first conquered, these regions were the first 
lost, and after the Assyrian captivity of Israel they 
were never repeopled by the chosen race, but remained 
in Gentile occupation. 

These regions are first named in the lives of the early 
Patriarchs, who traversed Baslian and Gilead in their 
journeyings to and from the Land of Promise. At the 
time of the Exodus they were held by two great Amorite 
chieftains, Sihon and Og, the former holding southern 
Gilead, the latter Bashan and northern Gilead. Shortly 


after the conquest of Sihon by Moses, Og, King of 
Baslian, mustered all his hosts, and was completely 
defeated by Israel at Edrei, his people exterminated, 
and the land taken in possession long before the 
entrance into Canaan (Numb. xxi. 33 — 35), 

The whole kingdom of Og was assigned to the half- 
tribe of Manasseh, the descendants of his eldest son 
Machir, and thus this warlike section of a tribe became 
the possessors of a territory only equalled in extent by 
the lot of the entire tribe of Judah (Josh, xvii. 1). 

The boundaries of Bash an, the northein portion of 
Manas seh's inheritance, are very clearly laid down, 
although we have no catalogue of its cities, as we have 
of the other tribes (Deut. iii. 8 — 14). It extended from 
the southern slopes of Mount Hermon in the north, to 
Gilead in the south — the frontier line between Bashan 
and the northern Gilead of King Og being the river 
Ilieromax or Sheriat-el-Mandhur, which runs due west 
and enters the Jordan just below the Sea of Galilee. 
North of this the country is comparatively flat, a high 
table-land, whence the name Bashan, i. e. '' level " ; 
while south of it is the undulating and rugged country 
of Gilead. The Upper Jordan and the Sea of Galilee 
bounded Bashan on the west ; the city of Salcah and the 
country of the Geshurites and of the Maachathites, on 
the east. 

Bashan was further divided into four provinces, which 
were in tlie times of the Greeks and Bomans recognized 
political divisions, each of tliom singularly distinct 
in its natural physical characteristics : (1) (Jolaii, the 
(iaulanitis of tlie Komans, the Jaulan of tlie moderns, 
ill the west. Ituro'dy now Jedur, in tlie north, was not 
strictly in IJashan, tlioup^li at one time liehl by Manasseh. 
(2) jinjob of the Old Testament, TracJioniiis of the New, 
the Lejah of to-day, in the east ; and (3) llanran^ the 
Roman Auranilis, the still unchanged llauran, in the 


south cast ; while (4), still further to the east, stretched 
the smaller Koman district of Jiatancea, or Bathaniyeh, 
meltin<^ into the eastern Syrian desert. 

Viewed from any commanding height, the whole 
country seems a boundless plain, covered here and 
there with noble pieces of forest, " the oaks of Bashan " ; 
but in reality deeply furrowed by many a ravine which 
winds its tortuous way towards the Jordan Valley. It 
is now, as it ever has been, a pastoral land. The bulls 
of Bashan, the wild oxen and bisons of old, have given 
place to tamer herds ; but the men are still the wild 
nomads which the sons of the warlike Machir were ; 
for it was to their tents, not to their cities, that Joshua 
dismissed them, after they had aided their brethren 
in the conquest of Canaan. ' ' Return with much riches 
unto your tents, and with very much cattle " (Josh. 
xxii. 8). From this time it appears no more in Bible 
history, except as one of the commissariat districts of 
Solomon, till we read of its being smitten by Hazael, in 
the time of Jehu, when the Lord began to cut Israel 
short (2 Kings x. 33). 

The region of Golan or Gaulanitis, the modern Jaulan, 
the western part of Bashan, stretches from the waters 
of Merom under Ilermon, to the Sea of Galilee. It is 
a vast table-land 3000 feet high, covered with splendid 
pasturage, rising by a series of terraces from the Jordan 
Valley. Along its western edge a series of round-topped 
conical hills run from Hermon, looking, in the distance, 
like extinct craters, but generally covered with oak 

The city of Golan itself, though several times men- 
tioned by Josephus, never occurs in Scripture after the 
first mention of its being allotted to the Levites out of 
the share of Manasseh, and being made one of the three 
cities of refuge east of Jordan (Josh. xx. 8). But it 
must have been of some importance, as giving its name 

364 BliiLE PLACES 

to a province. The site has recently been recovered by 
Herr Schumacher, in a village among extensive ruins, 
on the east side of the Nalir el 'Allan, which forms the 
boundary between the southern portion of the Jaulan 
and the Hauran. It is known as Sahem ej Jaulan, and, 
strictly speaking, it is just east of the boundary-line, but 
is the administrative centre of the province of Jaulan. 
The ruins, which are still partially inhabited, show that 
it was an important place in the early Christian period. 

The district has once been densely peopled. Dr. 
Porter states that no less than 127 ruined sites are 
known in it, all of which, excepting eleven, are now 
uninhabited and mere heaps of ruin. Yery few of 
these, however, can have had a place in written history. 
Aphekj now Fik, still existing, and Gamala, deserted, 
now Kulat-el-Husn, near the Sea of Galilee, have been 
described in the account of that lake. The only other 
city of this district named in the Bible is Astaroth 
(Deut. i. 4, etc.), called also T/ceii'/i^cyrt/t (i. e. Beer-Astaroth) 
(Josh. xxi. 27), and allotted to the Levites of the family 
of Gershom, the name of which is preserved in the 
ruined site crowning a hill in the south of the Jaulan, 
east of Fik, called Tell Ashterah. 

The ruins are on a hill in a plain, with the abun- 
dant stream of the Nahr Ayyub flowing at its base, 
and are evidently very ancient. They are about five and 
a half miles north-east from Sahem ej Jaulfm. Four and 
a half miles due south of Tell Ashterah, on the east side 
of the Wady Khrair, the ancient Yarniuk,ii village called 
Tell el Ash'ary is perched on an ai-tilicial hill, like the 
mounds of the llittites in JSIorthern Syria. The whole 
of the Jauh'iu is ;i plateau I'loni 150U to 2000 feet above 
th(.' sea level. Tell el Ash'ary is modern, but stands on 
the ruins of an ancient town, vvhicli in its turn covered 
the remains of still earlier habitations, of the Cyclopean 
type. From the foot of the mound, which must have 


been the citadel, there extend southwards the remains 
of the ancient city, known as El Ash'ary, the extent of 
which proves it to have been a very important place. It 
is prol)ably the AsJderotJt, Karwdw, taken by Chedor- 
laomer, and mentioned in Maccabees as a strong for- 
tress. It is recorded by Tliothraes III. among his con- 
quests, and a century later occurs in the Amarna 
tablets, one of the cities wrested from Amenhotep IV. 
by the Hittite and Amorite confederacy. 

North-east of the region of Golan lay Iturcea, the 
modern Jedur, only once mentioned under the Greek 
form (Luke iii. 1), *' Philip, tetrarch of Itursea and of 
the region of Trachonitis." It occurs very early in 
history ; for Jetur, the son of Ishmael, had his towns 
and castles named after him (Gen. xxv. 15, 16). In 
after ages the Manassites, as we learn from 1 Chron. 
V. 18 — 23, made war with the Hagarites or Ishmaelites, 
and conquered JeUir, JVej^hish, and JVodah, " and dwelt 
in their stead until the captivity. And the children of 
the half-tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land : they 
increased from Bashan unto Baal-Hermon, and Senir, 
and unto Mount Hermon." 

We have thus indicated to us the exact position of 
Jetur — between Bashan and Hermon, exactly coincident 
with the modern Jedur. In the second century B.C., 
Aristobulus King of the Jews re-conquered the district. 
It is a table-land with many little conical hills : the 
southern portion consisting of fine pasture plains, but 
the northern, nearer Hermon, very different, looking like 
a stormy sea of black molten rock, suddenly arrested 
and petrified, which indeed it is, being a rugged surface 
of lava, with deep fissures in all directions, reminding 
me when I visited it, in all particulars, of the volcanic 
country of Auvergne in Central France. 

There are no towns specially named in history be- 
longing to Itursea ; but Br. Porter records thirty-eight 


names of ruined sites, of which ten are utterly de- 
serted, and the remaining twenty-eight each contain 
only a few families of peasants, living in wretched 
hovels amid heaps of ruins which, in their character, 
are very like the Cyclopean or giant cities of Bashan, 
constructed of slabs of basalt, with doors of the same 

South-east of Iturrea lies a country, the physical cha- 
racter of which is almost without parallel elsew^here — the 
Aryoh of the Old Testament, Trachonitis of Greek and 
Koman times, and now the Lejah. The nature of the 
country is implied alike in the Hebrew name Argoh, " a 
heap of stones," the Greek Trachonitis, "stony," and the 
Arabic Lejah, " a place of refuge." It is about twenty- 
two miles by fifteen in extent, and sixty miles in circum- 
ference. " It is wholly composed," says Dr. Porter, " of 
black basalt rock, which appears to have in past ages 
issued from innumerable pores in the earth in a liquid 
state, and to have flowed out on every side till the plain 
was almost covered. Before cooling, its surface was 
agitated by some fearful tempest, or other such agency, 
and it was afterwards shattered or rent by internal con- 
vulsions and vibrations. The cup-like cavities, from 
which the liquid mass was projected, are still seen ; as is 
likewise the wavy surface which a thick liquid generally 
assumes in cooling while flowing. There are in many 
places deep fissures and yawning gulfs with rugged 
broken (ulges, while in other places are jagged heaps of 
rock that seem not to have been sulliciently heated to 
flow, but were forced upwards by :i mighty agency, and 
thim r(;nt ;ind shattered to thcnr centre. 'V\w rock is 
filled with little pits and protuberances like air-bubbles; 
it is hard as flint, and emits a sharp metallic sound 
wluni cr\ish(^d. I did not observe any approach to 
columnar or crystallized bfisalt." 

Another remarkable feature of Argob is (lie simrp 


boundary wliich separates it from the surrounding 
country. It is always mentioned in Scripture as the 
region, " c/iehel " (i. e. rope), of Argob,'for it is encircled 
l)y ji sort of rocky shores, swec^ping round it in a clearly 
defined cinde, like some miglity Titanic wall in ruins. 
On this outer boundary oi- rope most of its towns were 
situated. The cAe^^e^ apj died to Argob is not less apposite 
than inishor, " plain," applied to liashan ; for all the 
surrounding plateau from the heights above the Jordan 
on the west, till the plain melts into the vast desert 
eastward, is a rich down of luxuriant pasturage, almost 
without a stone. 

Forbidding and repulsive as this region seems, it was, 
and probably for that very reason, in the very earliest 
period of history thickly peopled. It was an important 
part of the kingdom of Og, and contained in his time 
" threescore cities, all fenced with high walls, gates, 
and bars ; besides unwalled towns a great many " (Deut. 
iii. 4, 5). Coming out from his strongholds, Og gave 
Israel battle at Edrei, where he was completely defeated 
and his people destroyed (Numb. xxi. 33). Argob fell 
to the lot of Jair, who called the small towns collect- 
ively Ilavoth-Jair, i. e. " the villages of Jair " (Deut. iii. 
14). The group of tent villages which Jair took are 
sometimes spoken of as in Argob, at other times in 
Bashan, a term applied either, in a restricted sense, to the 
Hauran only, or generally to the whole northern region 
east of Jordan. The Judge of the same name seems to 
have been a descendant of his, and to have inherited his 
villages, i. e. half of the whole district of Argob ; which 
had sixty villages. In one passage twenty-three villages 
are stated to have belonged to Jair, which his descend- 
ants had increased to thirty. Camon, the burial-place 
of the Judge, has not been traced. 

We never hear of the region again in the Old Test- 
ament, except in 1 Kings iv. 18, where, along with 


the possessions of Jair in Gileacl, Argob formed one of 
Solomon's commissariat districts governed from Ramoth- 
Gilead. In the New Testament Trachonitis is only men- 
tioned as the tetrarchy of Philip (Luke iii. 1). After 
the time of the Herods it disappears from history. 

The Lejah is still rather thickly inhabited for such a 
region, chiefly by Druses, with a few Christians and 
some wild Bedouin tribes. It has been for ages what 
its name implies, a refuge for outlaws of every kind and 
for the victims of Turkish oppression. Time after time 
the Turks have been repulsed in their attempts to sub- 
due it, and even Ibrahim Pasha was completely defeated 
in endeavouring to force its defiles. 

Geshitr, now Jeidilr, appears to have been a little 
principality to the east of Argob, north of the Maacha- 
thites, and, though within the limits of Manasseh, was 
not conquered (Josh, xiii. 13). It adjoined Aram,'^ or 
Syria, on the north. Its most interesting connection 
with Bible history is from David having among his 
wives at Hebron, Maacah, daughter of Tolmai, King of 
Geshur, of whom his son Absalom was born ; and to his 
grandfather Absalom fled for three years after the 
assassination of his brother Amnon (2 Sam. xiii. 37), till 
Joab's artifice contrived his return. The character of 
Absalom is in accordance with that of the wild, lawless 
race from which his mother sprang. 

Besides IFavoih-Jair, only two of the sixty groat cities 
of Argob arc mentioned by nauio — Edrel and Kenath. 
Kdrci only occurs as the })lace in front of which the great 
battle was fought which gave Bashan to Israel. Yet it 
was an important place in the earliest period of which 
we have any record. It is included in the list of 
Thothmes IFF.'s conquests. A c(Mitury later tlu^ Amarna 
tabhits tell us it was wrested from Kgypt. Shishak nlso 

' Ar; siifinTicH " Hiiflilainls." 

B AS HAN 369 

t,o()k it in his war againsfc Kohoboam. It continued an 
important city to tlio time ot" the (Jrusades, but has now 
tlvvi lulled to a villii,<^e of fifty famiUos. 

Posted on a rocky promontory on tlic south-west edge 
of the Lejah, Fxlrci, or, as it is now called, Edhr'a, rises 
twenty or thirty feet above the rich, wide plain of the 
ilaiu'an, which commences immediately under the rocks. 
The ruins, all of Idack basalt, are three miles in extent, 
standing out in black shattered masses. Most of the 
great Greek and Roman public buildings have crumbled 
into ruins ; but the low, massive giant or Cyclopean 
houses, perhaps far older than these, still remain, and 
the present inhabitants select their homes in them. 
Many of them have Greek inscriptions over the doors. 
The Church of St. George is still perfect, with an in- 
scription over it, telling that it was a heathen temple 
converted into a church a.d. 516. Of the Church of St. 
Elias the walls, but not the roof, remain, with inscrip- 
tions ; and there are other ruins, such as a cloistered 
quadrangle. Edrei was the ancient episcopal city of 
Adraa. But the most interesting remains are the small 
houses of remote antiquity, known familiarly as those 
of the " giant cities," with their walls of great blocks of 
basalt, closely fitted, but not in regular courses, their 
stone roofs, and their solid stone doors and windows 
still moving in the same sockets or " cup-and-ball " 
joints on which they have turned for thousands of years. 

Still more mysterious is the unique subterranean city, 
which seems to run under the whole of the area of the 
above-ground Edrei. This was only discovered in 1860 
by Wetstein, and has since been partially explored by 
Schumacher. It consists of long chains of chambers, 
some of them twelve feet high, and twenty or thirty feet 
wide, connected by narrow tunnels often only two or 
three feet in diameter, ventilated by numerous air-shafts 
hewn through the rock to the surface, and with great 

13 B 


cisterns excavated below them. Some of these chambers 
were for cattle with mangers, and others evidently 
store-houses. All are hewn out of the basalt, sometimes 
eighty feet below the surface. The walls and ceilings 
have been plastered, and the roof is often supported by 
columns of the native rock left standing ; but other 
columns, evidently of Greek or Roman masonry, have 
been added to what must have been the work of pre- 
historic times, perhaps of the troglodyte predecessors 
of Og. 

Extensive and important as Edrei was, there is no 
water but what is caught in tanks — no wells ; and the 
only access is over rocks or through almost impassable 
defiles. The number of cisterns is immense, as it is in 
all the towns of the Lejah. In a.d. 1142, Baldwin III. 
with the Crusaders made an unsuccessful attempt on 
Edrei. In another raid into Bashan they took Der'a 
(the Adraa of Eusebius), fifteen miles to the south-west, 
but the inhabitants fled to these secure fastnesses. 

Kenath, CanatJta of the Greeks, the modern Kunawat, 
is at the south-east extremity of the " rope " of the 
Lejah. All we know of it from the Bible is, that it was 
one of the cities of Argob, and that Nobah of Manasseh 
called it after his name (Numb, xxxii. 42). It still re- 
tained the name of iVobah when Gideon pursued the 
INIidianites to the east of it, "l)y the way of them that 
dwell in tents " (Judg. viii. 1 1 ). But the persistency 
of names in the East has, for more than two thousand 
years, at least, restored the original name under its 
Greek and Arabic forms. Thougli now inhabited by 
only a few Druse families, the ruins arc very line and 
perfect, and the inscriptions emlless. Temples and 
cathedrals, colossal sculi)tiu'es of Ashtoreth and Chris- 
tian crosses, theatres, halls, porticoes, and hippodromes, 
all a 10 crowded here on the edge of the Syrian deserts, 
the skeletons of a pori.^hed civilization. Strangest of 

BASH AN 371 

Jill are the streets, with the Koman pavement, for the 
most part entire, but here and there broken, and 
showing the vaults beneath, while the deserted houses 
line each side, their roofs still entire, and the stone doors, 
panelled and sculptured, still turning in their sockets. 

Although no other names than Edrei and Kenath are 
recorded, yet the evidence of the sixty cities of Argob 
is patent. The cities are there, and more than sixty, 
all attesting their antiquity by their antique Cyclopean 
architecture, with the basalt slaljs for roofs and doors. 
We read of their " gates and bars." The huge doors 
and gates of stone eighteen inches thick, and the places 
for the bars, which can still be seen, take us back to the 
very time of Moses ; perhaps even earlier — for, in the 
first campaign recorded in history, Chedorlaomer smote 
the Rejjhaiins in Ashteroth Karna'mi (Gen. xiv. 5). 
Ashteroth has already been mentioned in Gaulanitis, on 
the edge of the Hauran (p. 364). 

The Rejyhaiins were the aborigines of the country, and 
these buildings tell of the infancy of architecture, when 
strength and security alone were regarded. Nor is 
it difficult to understand how these buildings have 
stood. The black basalt is as hard as iron, and the 
most durable of rocks, while the heavy stone flags of 
the roofs, resting on the solid wall, bind the structure 
till it is almost as lasting as the rock itself. The 
buildings, like their names, may have come down from 
the days of Abraham. Chedorlaomer smote the Evibns 
in the plain of Kiriatha'mij and the houses of Kureiyeh, 
or Keriotlb, are probably the very work of the Emims, 

In the days of the Romans these places were held to 
be the work of the ancient inhabitants. (M. Marcellin.) 
This could not have been said of any Greek or Grajco- 
Syrian building ; and we may be quite sure that the 
tent-lovinff chifclren of Manasseh were not a building 


race. Besides, cities of some sort were there when they 


took the land ; and it is more reasonable to suppose 
that not the Amorites, whom they dispossessed, but even 
tlielr predecessors, the Ixephahti, were the constructors, 
than to bring them down to a later date. 

The "plain country" of the Hauran lies south and 
west of Argob. The name, which has come down un- 
changed in a letter (Auranitis of the Greeks), only occurs 
in Ezekiel (xlvii. 16, 18). It is the fairest and richest 
portion of Bashan, and is the part to which the name is 
most frequently applied, containing no less than 149 
inhabited, or more generally deserted, towns, the names 
of which are known. Yet none of these, except Salcah, 
Bozrali^ and Ker'iotJt (if that were in Bashan), occur in 
Scripture ; unless we add Karkor and Joyhehah ( Judg. 
viii. 10, 11), which must have been in the level nomad 
country east of Kenath or Nobah, where Gideon sur- 
prised the Midianite chiefs Zeba and Zalmunna. Of 
the name of Karkor no trace has been found, but 
Joyhehah is identical with J ubrihat, the name unchanged, 
on the great upland plain between G crash and Rabbath 
Ammon. Being far east in the open plain, the Midianites 
might well fancy themselves secure. 

Here and there a mound or tell of ])asalt suddenly 
rises in the plain, but otherwise the country is a vast 
open plain of surpassing fertility and luxuriant verdure 
in the early spring and summer. I have ridden for 
miles with the grass up to the saddle-girths, but the 
Arabs had not yet arrived with their Hocks and herds. 
Thougli the towns are deserted, with very few exceptions, 
they aie not in iiiins ; and the tew I visited, like the 
much greater number examined by Dr. Porter and Mr. 
Cyril Graliani, are noaily perfect, like those described 
above, with tlie massive thick walls, solid roofs, and 
door and window-slabs still swinging. Among them 
are many traces of Greek and Syrian occupation, but 
scarcely any of the Saracen ov later times. 


Salcah, now Sulklifid, seems to have been the extreme 

sonth-east outpost of Rishan (Dent. iii. 10; Josh, xiii, 

I I ). It is Mt tlio sontlicrn end of the Jel)ol Hauran, and 

immediately below it l)egins the great desert which 

extends to the Euphrates. The pasture lands of the 

tribe of (ilad reached to this point, which was their 

frontiei' (I Chron. v. 11). It never occurs afterwards 

in Scripture history. The city, now utterly desolate, is 

marvellously perfect. It stands out, with its castle 300 

feet above the city, on the top of the cone of an extinct 

volcano, a landmark seen far and wide from Gilead and 

Moab, and the Hauran, and all the plain of Bashan. 

I saw it even from the neighbourhood of Jerash. There 

are still perfect stone-built and roofed houses sufficient 

to accommodate three hundred or four hundred families. 

Not alone the houses of the town, l)ut the very fields 

and fences of the farms of all the country round, are as 

distinct as if only left last year. They chequer the 

whole country. Here and there are groves of fig-trees, 

and terraced vines still shed their fruits on the deserted 

hill-sides. The Bedouin annually visit them, for "the 

spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits, and upon thy 

vintage. Joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful 

field, and from the land of Moab ; I have caused the 

wine to fail from the winepress ; none shall tread with 

shouting " (Jer. xlviii. 32, 33). 

The ruins of the city itself contain many remarkable 
colossal sculptures ; but the Greek edifices are often 
crumbling or fallen, while the older Cyclopean houses 
are perfect. There are inscriptions not much later 
than the Christian era. The Crusaders never reached 

Dr. Porter thus describes the view from the top of the 
castle of Salcah : " The whole plain of Moab is spread 
out before us, and wherever we turn our eyes, deserted 
towns and villages are seen. Bozrah is on the west, 


some twelve miles distant — an old road running towards 
it straight as an arrow. The town of Beth-ciamul, now 
Um-el-Jemal; is faintly visible far away on the south- 
west. In the plain immediately to the south are several 
deserted villages. South by west, about three miles off, 
is the high hill Abd-el-Maaz, with a deserted town on its 
eastern declivity. To the south-east, the ancient road 
runs straight across the plain, far as the eye can see. 
About two hours along it, on the summit of a hill, is a 
deserted town, called Malah. On the segment of the 
plain, from south to east, I counted fourteen large 
villages, none of them more than twelve miles distant, 
and almost all of them, so far as I could see with a 
telescope, still habitable, like Sulkhad, but entirely 
deserted. Not less than thirty deserted sites can be 
counted from this commanding spot. Well may we 
exclaim, with the Prophet, as we look over this scene of 
utter desolation, ' Moab is confounded ; for it is broken 
down : howl and cry : tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is 
spoiled, and judgment is come upon the plain-country : 
upon Beth-gamid, and upon Beth-meon, and upon Kerioth^ 
and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of Moab far 
and near' (Jer. xlviii. 19 — 24)." 

Among other cities of the dead in this lonely wilder- 
ness, a few miles to the east of Salcah is Orman, the 
rJiili])j)oUs of ancient history, with Greek, but without 
(Cyclopean remains. 

In the wilderness north of it, Mr. Cyril (Iraham has 
discovered innumerable rude sculptures, like the Sinaitic 

North-west of Halcali, lialf-way between it and Bo/.rah, 
is Kun^'yoh, an ancient Kerlolh, forinorly one of the chief 
towns of tlie irauran, now witli only a few families. It 
may possil)ly be th(^ Kerioth of Moab, in tlio denuncia- 
tion of Jeremiali, thougli 1Ii(M(» is jinolher Kiu-eiyat near 
ireshlxm ; nnd llu^ |)Mstm-e lands of MoM.b, in its pros- 

B A SHAN 375 

perity, may havo extended to the Hanran. The strange 
Oyclopean liouses, so often mentioned aliove, are here 
perhaps more massive and remarka,})le than elsewhere. 

Bozrah, now Busrah, the Bostra of Greek history, 
must not be confounded with the Bozrah of Edom, now 
el-Busaireh, l)nt tnay be the Bozrah of Moab, mentioned 
by Jeremiah (xlviii. 24), as the Prophet there speaks of 
cities ^^far and near.^' There are only about half-a-dozen 
families in this once imposing city, the capital of a 
Koman province. It was taken by Judas Maccabfeus 
(1 Mace. V. 26), afterwards by Trajan ; was the birth- 
place of the Roman Emperor Philip, and afterwards its 
archbishop had thirty-three sees under his jurisdiction. 

Its ruins, antique, Greek, Roman, Christian, and 
Saracen, are most extensive and perfect. Besides the 
great castle, one of the largest and strongest in Syria, 
there are temples, churches, mosques, triumphal arches, 
a great theatre, gateways, roads, and arcades. One 
Roman road can be traced which reached to the Persian 
Gulf. But it is beyond our limits to describe all the 
magnificent remains of Bostra. 

The other countless deserted cities of Bashan may be 
passed over, as their modern names are apart from 
Sacred history. 

East of the Hauran is another district, Bathaniyeh, 
the Batancea of Josephus, a name prol)ably derived from 
Bashan. The " oaks of Bashan" clothe the hills with 
their forests in all their pristine grandeur ; and this is 
probal)ly the true forest of Bashan. It is scarcely 
explored ; and its ruined and deserted cities are not 
crowded, as though it had been always chiefly forest 
land, but yet are very numerous and perfect, like those 
of the Hauran. 

The Geshurites probably occupied part of it, and pretty 
certainly it was the country of the Maachathites, for 
Maachah lay east of Argob (Deut. iii, 1 4) and east of 


Bashan (Josh. xii. 5). The only time Maachah after- 
wards occurs in Scripture history is when its king 
helped Amnion in the war with David. That it was f; 
very small state is shown by his contingent being only 
1000 men (2 Sam. x. 6 ; 1 Ohron. xix. 7). 




Boniidarics of Gilead — Description of the country — Rainfall — StroaniH — Galoed 
— Jacob and Laban — Our Lord's journeys — Cities of Jair, Arbela, Aniathus — 
Gadara — /7//i.-A''cis— Remains— Tob — ?'a?'yi/«7t— Miziicli-Gilead— Jabesh-Gilead 
— Yahcs — Pella — TaJxiJcdt. Fahil — Mahanaim — MaJmeh — Jacob — Ishl)osh('th 
— David — Rog(!lim — Gerasa — Jcrasli — Jabbok— Zcr/rt — Boundaries of Gad — 
Character and History of Gad— Captivity — Elijah — Tisld)i — Snccoth — Penuol 
— Amatluis — Wady Fihicli. — Zaphon — Jchcl Ajlnn — Tar'ala — Tell Dar'ala — 
Beth-ninirah — Bethabara — Beit-nimrim — Betonim — Butncli — Aroer — Abel- 
Shittim — Camj^ of Lsrael— Beth-haran — Livias — Beth-Jesimoth — Mount 
Gilead — Jehd Osha — J Had — Rainoth-Gilcad— £".9 Salt — Jaazer — Scir — Jogbe- 
hah — Ardk-d-Emir — Rabbah — Philadelphia — Amnion — Ruins. 

In the previous chapters the line between Gilead and 
Bashan has been drawn at the river Hieromax. This 
boundary gives a large part of Gilead to the tribe of 
Manasseh, in accordance with the statement that Jair, 
of the sept of Machir, son of Manasseh, had half Gilead, 
i. e. the part of Gilead which belonged to Og, King of 
Bashan, as far south as the Jabbok (Numb, xxxii. 
39 — 41 ; Deut. iii. 15 ; Josh. xiii. 30). In this portion 
Manasseh had twenty-three cities (1 Chron. ii. 22). 
The Jahhok, now Zerka, divides Gilead into two pretty 
nearly equal parts. 

Gilead, or Mount Gilead, signifies " rocky region," and 
was a name given to this range of mountains extending 
from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, in contrast 
with the " Mishor,^' or plains and downs of Bashan. 
Southward, Gilead gradually blends with the highlands 
of Moab, while eastward there was no defined boundary, 
as it melts insensibly, first into plains, then into the 


great Syrian desert. From north to south its extent 
was about sixty miles. 

The name of Gilead is still preserved in Jebel Jilad, a 
little south of the Jabbok, one of the highest points of 
the mountain range which rises near 4000 feet from 
the Valley of the Jordan beneath it. In all Gilead, 
whether forest, prairie, or valley, there is a wild 
grandeur, unequalled in any other part of Palestine. 
Rising abruptly from the Jordan Valley, its westward 
bluffs are deeply furrowed by the many streams which 
drain the mountain-sides. 

The traveller rides up and down deep concealed glens ; 
sometimes by a track meandering along the banks of 
a brook, with a dense fringe of oleanders, '' willows by 
the water-courses," shading it from the sun and pre- 
venting summer evaporation, while they waste their 
perfume on the desert air without a human inhabitant 
near. Lovely knolls and dells open out at every turn, 
gently rising to the wooded plateau above. Then we 
rise to higher gi'ound and ride through noble forests of 
oak. Then for a mile or two through luxuriant green 
corn, or perhaps through a I'ich forest of scattere<l olive- 
trees, left untended and uncai-ed for, with perhaps 
patches of corn in the open glades. 

No one can fairly judge of Israel's heritage who has 
not seen the luxuriant exuberance of Gilead, as well as 
the hard rocks of Judea, which only yield ^//^;yV abund- 
ance to reward constant toil and cai"o. To conn)aro the 
two is to contrast nakedness and luxuriance. Yet the 
present state of Gih^ad is jusl wliat Western Pales- 
tine was in the days of A))raliani. Subsecpiently the 
Canaanites must have extensively cleared it, even before 
tiio coiupiest, and while the slopes and terraces were 
(rlad with olive-groves, tlu? amount of rainfall was not 
affected, 'V\\v terraces have (•rnn»l)led away ; wars and 
neglect have destroyed tiu^ groves, until it woidd bo 


difiicult to find any two nciglibouring districts moro 
strangely contrasted tlian the east and west of Jordan. 
But this is simply caused by the greater amount of rain- 
fall on the east side, attracted l)y the forests, which 
have perished off the opposite hills. The area of drain- 
age is about the same on each side. The ravines and 
wadys are numerous ; but few of the streams are peren- 
nial on the west — all are so on the east. Every stream 
draining from Moab and Gilead is filled with fishes 
and fresh-water shells. I never found living fresh- 
water shells but in two streams on the west side. In 
other words, the brooks there are now but winter 
torrents. In Gilead and Bashan the Lord '' made him 
suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty 
rock ; butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of 
lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with 
the fat of kidneys of wheat ; and thou didst drink the 
pure blood of the grape " (Deut. xxxii. 13, 14). 

The Bible history of northern Gilead is soon told. 
Gilead is first mentioned in the life of Jacob. On his 
return from Padan-aram he passed by Mount Gilead 
towards Canaan. In this region, at a place to which 
he gave the name of Mizj^eh, or Mizpah, i. e. '' watch- 
tower," and Galeed, i.e. " heap of witness," Laban over- 
took him, and, after their mutual reproaches and remon- 
strances, they sacrificed and parted in peace ; Laban 
invoking Jehovah to watch, whence Mizpeh ; and appeal- 
ing to the "heap" of stones they had raised, hence 
Galeed, with a punning reference to the name of the 
country — a sort of play on words most common in the 
East. Thence Jacob came to Mahanaiin, and further on, 
close to the brook Jahbok, to Penuel, or Peniel. 

After the conquest of Sihon and Og, Jephthah was 
the only Judge, except Jair, raised up on the east of 
Jordan, and they both belonged to Manasseh, north of 
the Jabbok. In the same region, too, the family of 


Saul found refuge while David reigned in Hebron, and 
to its fastnesses David himself in turn retreated during 
the usurpation of his son Absalom. Subsequently it 
became the battle-field of Israel and Syria, till Hazael 
began to cut Israel short. 

In the New Testament the name does not occur ; but 
the land of Gilead was blest by our Lord's presence on 
several occasions. Here He was baptized by John in 
Jordan ; and down the eastern side of the Plain of Jordan 
He used to travel from Galilee to Jerusalem. 

The names of places occurring in Sacred history situated 
in Gilead north of the Jabbok, or the portion of Manasseh, 
are few ; for, though we are told that Jair had twenty- 
three cities, no list of them is given. 

As a settled country, its importance was much greater 
after the Roman conquest than at any previous time. 
Some of the most important cities of the Roman province 
of Decapolis (Matt. iv. 25 ; Mark v. 20, vii. 31) were 
here situated, notably Gadara and Fella, and, according 
to some accounts, Abila, now Abil, whose ruins are 
twelve miles east of Gadara. Arhela (Irbid), further 
south-east, and Amathui^ (Amateh), on the Wady Ajlun 
at the edge of the Jordan Valley, must also, by their 
ruins, have been important Roman cities, though not 
connected with Sacred history. Abila and Amathus are 
})oth mentioned among the conquests of Thothmes III. 

(iadn/ra is only incidentally mentioned in Scripture — 
*'the country of the Gadarencs " being visited by our 
Lord (Mark v. 1 ; Luke viii. 26). As we have already 
seen, it was the capital of m, district including Genjesa 
and many other places. It does not occur in history 
l)efore its capture by Antioclnis Epiphanes, King of 
Syria, w.v. 2 IS. IJolaken twenty years sifter by the 
Jews, it ultimately became part of Herod's dominions. 

Gadara, now (Im-Keis, stands on the soutli side of the 
Yarinnk or Uwromax, above tlio hot springs and ruined 

G1LKA1> 381 

llomaii haths iriciitioued by Josepliiis, which are at the 
bottom of the glen (the Laths of AniaUta). The most 
remarkable feature in the remains of Gaclara is a perfect 
paved lloman street, more than half a mile long, with 
the ruts woi'ii by the chariot-wheels ', colonnades on either 
side, of which the columns are lying prostrate, though 
many bases are standing ; and massive crypt-like cells 
in a long row, apparently a market or bazaar. There is, 
of course, a fine amphitheatre, and a very perfect theatre 
also, partially scooped in the side of the rock, and the 
remains of the Christian cathedral. 

To the east is a dell, a wide open space, which is a 
field of tombs. Several acres are strewn with stone 
coffins and lids, most of them fairly sculptured with all 
sorts of designs, dragged out of the caves with which 
the whole district is perforated. At every step there is 
either a cavern or an artificial cave. These are now 
used as dwellings or shelter by the tribes who visit the 
district for a part of the year, and who have probably 
di-agged the sarcophagi from their resting-places. In 
many cases the stone doors still remain swinging in 
their sockets. 

Twelve miles south of Gadara, on the road to Gerash, 
the large and flouiishing village of Taiyibeh is, without 
doubt, Ttthie7ii of the Maccabees, and the Tob of an earlier 
period, where Jephthah took refuge. " Taiyibih is the 
Arabic for the Hebrew Tob," i.e. "good." Ishtob 
(2 Sam. X. 6, 8) should be translated " the men of Tob." 
Tob appears moi"e than once in the campaign of Judas 
Maccabteus. It was the southern limit of Bashan. 

Ilizj^e/i, or Mizpeh-Gilead^ mentioned in the Amarna 
letters, along with Edrei and other neighbouring 
fortresses, as having been wrested from Amenhotep 
III., King of Egypt, by the ' Hittite and Amorite 
invasion, was the spot of Laban's and Jacol)'s interview, 
and the place of " the heap of witnesses." Ramath- 


Mizpelt (Josh. xiii. 26) was probably a different place, 
Ramoth and Mizpeh being both names of frequent occur- 
lence on either side of Jordan. Joshua gives it as one of 
the frontier places of the tiibe of Dan after Heshbon. Its 
site seems to be indicated in the ruins of Ramtheh, west of 
Bozrah, where the boundary would naturally run, and this 
would agree with the boundary as given in the Talmud. 
About the position of Jacob's Miziteh scarcely any 
authorities are agreed. It may fairly be assumed to be 
the same as the Mizpeh where Jephthah had his house, 
and therefore near the land of Tob, in the south of Gilead. 
Lt.-Col. Conder suggests as a probable site the village of 
Suf, a})out four miles north-west of Jerash, a position 
which satisfies the conditions so far as we know, and 
which has a fine group of rude stone monuments, show- 
ing that there was once a sacred centre here. It may 
possibly be Tiluieh, which I formerly suggested, some 
miles further north-west. Ramath-Mizpeh was in the 
share of Manasseh (Judg. xi. 34), and here Jephthah, 
the Manassite Judge, marshalled his people against 
Amnion, for the place was evidently looked on as the 
great sanctuary of the tribe, from the tradition of the 
place of Jacob's covenant. Tibneh is the most conspi- 
cuous site in the district, a fine natiu-al fortress on an 
isolated round mamelon-shaped hill rising above the wide 
plateau, and commanding a magnificent view of Western 

Jahesh-G'dead seems to have been the chief town of the 
Gilead of Manasseh. It is first mentioned when its male 
inhabitants were put to the sword for their absence from 
the war of Israel against ]^enjamin, and their daughters, 
to the number of four- ImiKUcd, seized to su})ply wives 
for tlie remnant of that tribe (»hulg. xxi,). 'J'his alliance 
seems io have created a friendly attachment, for 8aul 
successfully repelled the attack of Nahash the Ammonite 
agjiinst Jabesh-Gilead ; and was gratefully remembered 

GILEAD ' 383 

when, a.l'lor Jiis death on Mount Gilboa, the Philistines 
exposed the bodies of liiniselt* and his son as trophies at 
liethsliean, and the men of Jabesh-Gilead, which was 
exactly opposite Bethshean, i^aHantly crossed the river by 
night, cari-ied them off, and liononrably buried them 
(1 Sam. xxxi. 11 — 13), for which act of loyalty David 
sent special messengers to bless them (2 Sam. ii. 5). 
Some years afterwards David removed the bones and 
buried them in Saul's ancestral sepulchre at Zelah (2 
Sam. xxi. 12). 

The name of Jahesh is preserved in the Wady Yabes, 
a deep glen with a perennial stream running down from 
Mount Ajalon to the Jordan, which it enters a little 
south of Bethshean. The site of the town is on a little 
hill, rather a strong position, which I visited, but for 
which my guides had no name, though Dr. Robinson 
heard of it as *' Deir," which simply means " convent." 
Most of the ruins are grass-grown, with some broken 
columns, but no traces of Roman fortifications. It 
stands full in sight of Bethshean, which is worth noting. 
There is fine forest all round. It is a place of great 
antiquity, and is m.entioned in a letter among the 
Amarna tablets from an Egyptian commander to 
Amenophis III., for whom he was holding it against 
northern foes. 

About six miles north-west of Jabesh stands a low 
terrace, pushing forth in front of the Gilead mountain 
into the Jordan plain, called Tabakat Fahil, the ancient 
Fella, one of the cities of Decapolis. It has no Scrip- 
ture history, but is deeply interesting as the place to 
which the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem betook 
themselves before the siege of Titus, in obedience to 
our Lord's warning, and where they remained in safety. 
The place is now utterly deserted, but the ruins are 
very extensive, covering several acres with heaps of 
stones and granite columns. At the foot of the city is 


a splendid fountain, and two columns near it are still 
standing upright. 

Mahanahih, the historical recollections of which are 
among the most interesting in Gilead, is, according to 
the different topographical allusions, somewhat perplex- 
ing to place. It is mentioned in Shishak's list of his 
conquests, but its place in the enumeration gives no clue 
to its geographical position. It was on the frontier of 
Manasseh and Gad (Josh. xiii. 26, 30), but belonged to 
the latter (chap, xxi. 38), for it was one of the Levitical 
cities of the tribe of Gad, yet it was on the border of 
Bashan (chap. xiii. 30). Again, from the history of 
Genesis xxxii., where it first occurs, it is placed between 
Mizpeh-Gilead and the Jabbok, therefore probably to the 
north of it. These indications can only be explained 
by the pasture land of Gad overlapping Manasseh to the 
east in the Mishor, or '' plain country," and so touching 
Bashan. These conditions are satisfied by a desolate site 
by the forest, which I visited, which still preserves the 
name of Mahneh, to the north-east of Jebel Ajlun and 
Tibnoh, and fourteen miles south-east of Bethshean, where 
I would place Mizpeh. At Mahneh there is a fine fountain 
and open pool, and traces of buildings, all grass-grown 
and beneath the soil, occupying several acres and partly 
covered with wood. As it is never mentioned after the 
time of David, there was no reason to expect later 
remains. Lt.-Col. Conder, however, woidd place it further 
south, in the plain of Es Salt, but does not suggest 
any site. 

The name Mahmiaivi, or "hosts," was given to it by 
Jacob, when the angels, or hosts t)f (lod, met him ((Jen. 
xxxii. 2). It was a day's journey from the Jabl)ok. It 
afterwards appears to have been a very iiu|)ort;int place, 
for here Abruu' crowiicd Ishboshi^th sou ot" Saul, king, 
when Daviil Wius anointed at llt'])i()ii, nnd here Lsli- 
boshoth reigned two years. Hence Abner set out for 


Gibcou, and hero the uiifortiuiato Ishboshcth was mur- 
dered (1 Sam. iv.). To Mahaiiaim David fled on the 
successful revolt of Absalom. In the forest near it the 
great battle was fought and the rebel .son slain by Joab. 
In the gate of Mahanaim David sat anxiously waiting 
to hear the fate of the day, while the watchman on the 
tower above looked out ; and to the chamber over that 
gate the bereaved king retired to bewail his loved though 
wayward Absalom. Except as one of Solomon's com- 
missariat districts (1 Kings iv. 14), it is never again 

Of Royelwi, the home of Barzillai, and of Lo-Dehar^ 
the home of Machir the son of Ammiel, the protector of 
Mephibosheth (2 Sam. ix. 4), and the hospitable helper 
of David in distress (chap. xvii. 27), nothing is known. 
Lo-JJehar is, perhaps, the same as JJchlr^ named (Josh, 
xiii. 26) as in the border of Gad, and therefore not far 
from Mahanaim. It may be Dibbin, near Gerash, where 
I found a fine ancient foiuitain and other remains. 

A little east of this, on one of the affluents of the 
Jabbok, stands Jerash, the ancient Gerasa, the ruins of 
which are the most perfect, beautiful, and extensive east 
of Jordan. Of its early history nothing is known. It 
was one of the most important of the Roman cities of 
Decapolis ; was taken and burnt in the Jewish war by 
order of Vespasian, but restored with greater splendour 
than ever by the Antonines, whose inscriptions crowd 
the fa9ades of its temples. There are no traces of the 
Saracens : everything here is as the Komans left it. It is 
probably the most perfect Roman city left above ground. 

It occupies both banks of a little stream in the centre 
of a wide open valley. The paved roads, both north and 
south, are unbroken, skirted with tombs and monu- 
ments, pagan and Christian. The walls are, in placeSj 
of the original height, enclosing a square of about a 
mile, with the little stream, buried in oleanders, running 

c c 


through the centre, and many a street bridge over it. 
The streets remain — the principal one a double row of 
columns a mile in length, richly carved, fronting temple 
and palace in rapid succession. The side streets cross 
at right angles. For a thousand years it has been a 
silent wildeiness, yet all can be traced. Even the 
sockets for the gates still remain in the arches of the 
gateways, and the water still runs in the channel to 
flood the circus for mock sea-fights. Temple, theatre, 
triumphal arch, foi-um, baths. Christian cathedral, are 
all here in every variety of later Koman architecture. 
Yet this was but a distant provincial city, standing 
almost in the Arabian desert, and almost without a 

Ten miles from Gerash south, we reach the Jabbok, in 
its head waters the frontier between Ammon and Israel, 
in its lower between Manasseh and Gad, as it had been 
between the kingdoms of 8ihon and Og (Josh. xii. 2). 
It was on its banks that Jacob met Esau on his return 
from Padan-aram (Gen. xxxii. 22). It is now the Wady 
^erka, and is a perennial river of some size, beautifully 
fringed with oleanders, in a very deep wooded ravine. 

The Jabbok brings us to the territory of Gad. This 
tribe seems to have had the richest and most valuable 
portion of the eastern side of Jordan. On the highlands 
Gilead reached from the Jabbok southward nearly as far 
as Hesh})on (Josh. xiii. 26). Eastward it embraced half 
the territory of Ammon, from near liahbaJi ; the river 
Amman, a tributary of the Jabbok, being probably the 
eastern boundary. North of this, (uid afterwards 
pushed as far east as Salcah, the very f<outh-east ex- 
tremity of lijishan, wliilo on tlie west its boundary was 
the Jordan, from tlio Sea of Gliinnereth or Gennesareth, 
as far down as Ijeth-nirarah and the Wady Seir, or live 
miles above tlie head of the J)ead Sea. Thus ahuost 
the whole of the east side of the Jordan Valley, or Ghor, 


was ill Gad, which thus completely overlapped the 
(Uleadite possessions of Maiiasseh to the west. This 
narrow strip is almost inaccessi})le from the range of 
nortliern Clilead, which rises precipitously from the 
plain, and contained but few towns, though its winter 
pasturage is wonderfully rich and luxuriant. 

The territory of Gad then was as varied as it was 
extensive, and as the predominant clan east of Jordan, 
Gad and Gilead became, in common speech, inter- 
changeable terms. The warlike character of Gad is 
intimated in Jacob's prophetic blessing, "Gad, a troop 
shall overcome him, but he sliall overcome at the last " 
(Gen. xlix. 19) ; and in that of Moses, alluding also to 
his extension of territory eastward, "Blessed be he that 
enlargeth Gad ; he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the 
arm with the crown of the head. And he provided the 
first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the 
lawgiver, was he seated '^ (Deut. xxxiii. 20, 21) : referring 
to the early allotment of land to this tribe, which had 
never in Egypt abandoned the pastoral habits of the 

At the conquest Gad, with the other trans-Jordanic 
tribes, held fast to their brethren, and though their own 
lot was already secured, fought in Joshua's campaigns, 
and at the completion of the war were dismissed by him 
to their tents (Josh. xxii. 4), not to their cities. But for 
a time they took little part in the national struggles j 
and Deborah reproachfully exclaims, " Gilead abode 
beyond Jordan" (Judg. v. 17). In the early days of the 
monarchy, however, they were highly distinguished, and 
their restless, predatory habits led them to cross Jordan 
and join the fortunes of David at Ziklag, " men of 
might, and men of war for the battle, that could handle 
shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of 
lions, and were as swift as roes upon the mountains '* 
(1 Chron. xii. 8). 


Before this they had had successful war against the 
HagarUeSy or Bedouin of the far east beyond Bashan, and 
had taken enormous booty ; and we are told dwelt in 
the "steads," or Hazeroth, ^. (^. the camps, of Jetur, 
NepMshj and Nodah, till the Captivity (1 Chron. v. 
22). Gad was carried into captivity by Pul and Tig- 
lath-Pileser, and planted in Halah, Ilahor, now Chabour, 
Ilara, and by the river Gozan, the Chabour being the 
great Mesopotamian feeder of the Euphrates (1 Chron. 
v. 26). The country from that time forth seems to have 
been occupied by the Ammonites. We learn this from 
the lament of Jeremiah, '' Concerning the Ammonites 
thus saith the Lord, Hath Israel no sons % hath he no 
heir 1 Why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his 
i)eople dwell in their cities?" (chap. xlix. 1). 

It must not be forgotten that the greatest of the Pro- 
phets sprang from this ti'ibe. Elijah the Tishbite was 
of Gilead, thougli no trace of the name of Tishh'i has yet 
been found. In all the actions and history of Elijah, we 
see the chanxcteri sties of the wild and hardy Gileadite 
of the tents. His dress, his strength, his endurance, his 
solitary habits, his wanderings in the wilderness, all 
bespeak the man of the eastern wilds, the one great 
Prophet who stands forth in the comparative dearth of 
sacred heroes from the eastern ti-ibes. 

Gilead h;is been so little explored, that the identifica- 
tion of most of its towns is a task of dilHculty. We will 
take first those which occur in the long fertile strip of 
the Jordan Valley. tSuccoth is the first place named in 
this valley (Josh. xiii. 27). It belonged to Gad ; but 
there is a SuccoUi, probably that of Solomon, now Sakiit, 
already rcfen-ed to, on the west side near Jicthshean. It 
is first mentioned as a halting-place of Jacob on his 
way from (gilead to Shechem ((Jen. xxxiii. 17). Prob- 
ably, then, there were two i)laces of the name, for the 
Succoth to which Gideon came in his pursuit of the 

filLEAD 389 

Midianitcs was east of Jordan, and therefore in tlie 
tribe of Gad (Jndg. viii. 4), the one named in Joshua. 
Jerome and Buickliardt both speak of a Succoth east 
of Jordan. Thougli I paysed many ruined phices and 
desohite heaps in riding up the east side, at intervals 
of from one to four miles the whole way, I did not find 
the name of Sakut, or Sokut, assigned to any. This, 
liowever, is no proof that the place may not be foiuid. 

The Talmud, however, states that Succoth was in later 
times known as Tar'ala, and the Rev. Selah Merill has 
lately found the name almost unchanged in Tell Dar'ala, 
in the Jordan Valley, about a mile north of the Jabbok. 

Fennel, or Peniel, where Jacob wrestled with the 
Lord in prayer and received his name of Israel, lay 
between Mahanaim and the Jabbok (Gen. xxii. 30). 
From Succoth Gideon passed to Penuel in his pursuit of 
the Midianites, and on his return destroyed its town and 
slew its men for having refused him aid. It was after- 
wards fortified by Jeroboam (1 Kings xii. 25), probably 
because it commanded the passes of Jordan. No trace 
of the name has been found, unless there be a trace 
of it in Wady Faneh, a valley running down from 
Jebel Osha to the Jabbok. Conder suggests that it 
may possibly be the summit of Jebel Osha, north of 
Es Salt, since it was a ridge of some kind, as Jacob 
"passed over" it at sunrise. This, however, is merely 
a conjecture. 

Zciphon (Josh. xiii. 27) is named next to Succoth. 
The Talmud identifies it with Amathi, the Amathus of 
Josephus, of which the ruins still bear the name of 
Amateh, at the entrance of the river Ajlun (Ajalon), 
into the Jordan Valley. Bithron (2 Sam. ii. 29), meaning 
the " gorge," must have been between the Jordan and 
Mahanaim, possibly the Wady Ajlun. 

Beth-nimrah, i. e. " the house of the leopard," is very 
satisfactorily identified with Beit nimrim, " tlie house 


of leopards," very near the entrance of the AVady 
Shaib, or Nimrim, as it is called at its lower end, into 
the Jordan, at what are known as the upper fords, on 
the main road leading from Jericho to Gilead. The 
stream descends from Es Salt. Its New Testament and 
Septuagint name is BetJuihara, where John baptized 
(John i. 28, etc.); for it is interesting to observe that 
the LXX. translate Beth-nimrah by Bethahra, i.e. " the 
house of the ford," the leopards having been exterminated 
by the increase of population, and the principal ford to 
Gilead and Galilee lieing at this spot. Now man has 
retired, and the leopard has resumed his sway; and wdth 
it, the old name, never quite forgotten, has revived. 

There is abundance of water here. Once there was 
a large, open, walled pool, like that of Capernaum : but 
now the spring bul)bles forth, wasted and untended, 
feeding a luxuriant tangle of tropical trees and shrubs. 
The ruins are shapeless and generally choked by the 
prickly vegetation. It was here that our Saviour 
vouchsafed to be l)aptized, in order to fulfil all righteous- 
ness. Close to this place, too, Elijah was taken up 
to heaven, where his successor entered on his mission, 
and where our Lord w\as first proclaimed the Son of 
God with power (see p. 130). 

A little to the north of this, on the highland plateau, 
above the right bank of the Shaib, are two ruined sites 
about three miles apart, Butneh and Aireh, probably 
the Belonhii, i. o. " pistachio nuts," and the Arocr of 
Gad, facing lla])l)ah. This Aroer must be distinguished 
from that of the Arnon. It was ))uilt by Gad (Numb, 
xxxii. 34), and was the scene of Jephthah's defeat of the 
Ammonites (Judg. xi. 33). 

The site of Beth-nimrah piesents also anotlier point 
of interest, as it was und<)ul)tedly very near tlie nortliern 
extremity of the cam|) of Israel in the Jordan Valley, 
in ilu' pl.iins of Shittim, before tliey crossed over 



under Joshua. Ahel-Shittim (Numb, xxxiii, 39), now 
Kefrein, signifies " marshes of the acacia," and from 
hence to Beth-Jesimoth, near the head of the Dead 
Sea, the camp extended. Immediately under the hills 
of Gilead and Moab a rich wilderness of garden extends 
the whole way, watered by the abundant, never-failing 
springs and streams that gush from the foot of the 
wooded mountains. Among the tangled wilderness, 
chiefly on its western edge, still grow many of the 
acacia-trees, " shittim,'' from which the place derived 
its name. No place could thus be better situated for 
the vast camp — abundant water and forage behind, and 
open space for miles in front. Here, in these sultry 
groves, Israel was seduced by the Moabites into the 
licentious rites of Baal- Peer (Numb. xxv. 1). Upon 
this rich plain Balaam looked down from the top of 
Peer, from Pisgah (id. xxiii. 14 — 28), from the bare hill 
on the top of the rocks, and from the cultivated field 
of Zophim, "that looketh on the face of the waste." It 
is now known as the Ghor es Soisaban. 

Here, not many months after, did Moses give his last 
blessing to the people he had led so long ; hence he 
ascended those grey heights that towered beyond, and 
gained at length a glimpse of the land he was never 
himself to tread. Here were the tribes marshalled by 
his successor. In front of these green pastures their 
hosts were drawn up in the early morning just before 
their last halt on the river's l)rink (Josh. iii. 1). 

Beth-haran (Numb, xxxii. 3G) or Beth-arain (Josh, 
xiii. 27), one of the cities l)uilt l)y Cad "in the valley," 
is not again named in Scripture. Josophus tells us 
Herod changed the name to lAvias. We are told it was 
three miles south of Bethanabra. It is marked by a 
deserted heap of ruins at that s[K)t, called T<»11 UriunOi. 
'It is nearly in the centre of the oasis of Abel Shitiini, 
Mv.w \,]u) W:\(ly S<'ir or Jazcr. Sontli of it again, the 



last oily in the Jordan Valley was Beth-Jedmoth, be- 
longing to Reuben, marked l)y the ruins called 'Ain 

llorouaiiih (Isa. xv. 5; Jer. xlviii. 7) is conjecturally 
identified by Oonder with the Wady Ghueir, leading 
from the southern extremity of the Seisal)an towards 
Nebo, with the traces of an ancient road. It is one of 
the places mentioned in the Moal)ite Stone by Mesha, 
King of Moab, as having been taken by him from 

The great road into Gilead followed the course of 
the 8haib, from Beth-nimrah up to Jebel Osha, as the 
highest peak of Mount Gilead is now called, and 
immediately behind it is the great fortress of Es Salt, 
looked upon as the key of the country. The peak of 
Jebel Osha derives its name from possessing the 
traditional tomb of Hosea the prophet, and is esteemed 
a holy place. The view from it is considered the 
finest in Palestine. The whole Plain of Jordan is 
stretched before us from Jericho to Bethshean, and 
almost to Tiberias, with the meandering line of the 
river in the centre, whose waters can be seen in some 
of their windings, sparkling like diamonds in the 
sunlight. Over it may be dimly seen the grey hills 
of Jerusalem and Benjamin, then Ebal and Gerizim, 
Gilboa and Tal)or, in succession, with snow-streaked 
Hermon for the northern limit. Sloping down for 
more than 6000 feet to the Jordan Valley, the corn- 
fields gradually melt into a lower wooded range, which 
descends, clad with trees of varying shades of colour as 
it sinks, into the plain. The verdure of the foreground, 
the rich red and grey of the background, cannot easily 
be surpassed. ^ 

A deserted site to the north-east of the peak, called 
Jilad, is pointed out as the birthplace of Elijah. 

To the south-east, on a bold shoulder of the mountain, 
stands Es Salt. The country round is a natural park, 



all the glades covered with wheat and barley in spring, 
^nd trees and shrubs grouped in graceful variety. 
Across the Jabbok rise the dark pine forests of Ajlun, 
a.nd every now and then there is a glimpse of the plain of 
the Hauran on the one side, or of the Jordan on the other. 

The modern town Es Salt is a considerable place, 
said to contain three or four thousand souls ; but I 
could find no ruins, excepting an old mosque of massive 
construction, perhaps transformed from a Byzantine 
church, and some large bevelled cornices in the founda- 
tions of buildings. There is a fine old castle com- 
manding the town on the height above, square, with 
corner towers, and the lower part of it apparently 
floman. But there is no trace of earlier remains. 

Manioth-Gilead was a Levitical city, and the city of 
refuge for the tribe of Gad (Deut. iv. 43). It was also 
the head of one of Solomon's commissariat districts. 
Bnt it is chiefly noted in connection with the death of 
Ahab. It had been wrested from Omri by Benhadad, 
King of Syria; and Ahab, with the aid of his ally, 
Jehoshaphat, vainly attempted to recover it, and, in 
accordance with prophetic warning, lost his life by the 
arrow shot at a venture. His son Joram renewed the 
attempt some years after with the aid of Ahaziah, King 
of Judah ; and, though he succeeded, was severely 
wounded (2 Chron. xxii. 6). Jehu was garrisoning it 
for him against Ilazael, King of Syria, when ho was 
stirred by the pL'ophot to seize the throne, and here he 
was proclaimed king. From that time it disappears 
from history. 

li<iinoth-( Ulead has generally been identified with the 
]n()d(u-n KsSalt, but on insufficiont evidi^nce, beyond that 
\\\v. one was the chief city of tlio (Jilead of the Kings, 
as the other is of tlio Ajlun district. Es Salt derives its 
nam(^ from Haltv.H llkraiivn^, i.e. "the Sacred Word," 
its early (Jhristian appellation, and there are no traces 
of buildings cirlicr than I he IIouimh ])eri()d. The 


objections to tlio idontity are, tliat the topograph ical 
allusions would lead ns to place it further north, for in 
Solomon's reign the Governor of Bashan resided at 
Ramoth-Gilead ; and that it was the early prey of the 
King of Syria. Again Ahab fought there with chariots. 
But Er Salt is situated among mountains where chariots 
could not be employed ; while further to the north-east 
the country is well adapted for their use. Condor 
suggests Keimun, a few miles west of Jerash, as the 
probable site of Ramoth-Gilead. 

From Es Salt a road leads along the crest of the 
highland towards Heshbon. About twelve miles south 
on this road is Seir, Jaazer or Jazer of the Pentateuch. 
It consists only of grass-grown mounds and rows of 
foundations at the very head of the valley, above a 
marshy spring, the highest source of the Seir. By this 
route Israel marched after the conquest of Sihon, 
towards Bashan, and Moses took Jaazer (Numb, xxi, 
32). It was rebuilt by Gad, and was assigned to the 
Levites. It was visited by Joab on his way from the 
Jordan to Gilead, in numbering the people, l)efore 
reaching Taldwi-ho(hlii (probably in the extremity of 
Bashan), Jeremiah (ch. xlviii. 32) speaks of " the sea 
of Jazer." There is no trace of a lake, but possibly the 
marshy spring may have been restrained in a large 
basin or '' hirhety 

Lieut. -Col. Conder proposes in preference Beit Zaia, 
three miles north of Heshbon, as better suiting a natural 
boundary. It does not, however, correspond so well 
with the indications of Eusebius and Jerome. 

Joghehali (Numb, xxxii. 35) is now Jubeihah, on the 
road between Amman and Salt. There are four groups 
of ruins, extensive, principally Boman or Byzantine. 
It is again mentioned in the account of Gideon's pursuit 
of the Midianites (Judg. viii. 11). Ataroth, and Atroth- 
shophan, as the name should read (Numb, xxxii. 35), 
are probably marked by the many acres of ruins which 



cover the slopes of Jebel Attarus, between Heslibon and 
Dibon. One of these, now known as Sufa, probably 
represents the site. The objection that this would place 
them too far south, woiild equally apply to the un- 
questioned Dibon. Dibon, mentioned in the same list, 
was afterwards assigned to Keuben. 

The "half of the land of the children of Ammon" 
given to Gad (Josh. xiii. 25) doubtless was this rich 
undulating district .west of Rabbah, which Sihon and 
the Amorites had wrested from Ammon, as they had 
Heshbon from Moab, and the retaining of which by 
Israel caused the bitter enmity of Ammon, as may be 
seen by the complaint of their king to Jephthah, that 
Israel had taken it from him, and Jephtliah's spirited 
and elocjuent reply (Judg. xi.). 

Not far from Seir, but mvich lower down on the west, 
are some ruins, posterior to Old Testament history, but 
the most remarkable imrdy Jewish ruins existing, called 
Ariik-el-Emir. This was built by Hyrcanus in the 
second century B.C. as a place of security against the 
King of Syria, and has never been altered or retouched 
by Roman or Saracen. Josephus describes it very 
exactly. It consists of a massive wall surrounding 
several acres, in the centre of which is. the castle, built 
of stones of enormous size all fastened by ball and 
socket joints on every side, without mortar. The 
enormous shibs are sculptured with coh^ssal lions, 
elephants, etc., in alto-relievo. Half a mile above the 
castle is a vast series of rock-dwellings, im})regnable by 
ancient wnrfare, witii cIimiuIhms, halls, stables for one 
liundred horses, with rock-hewn mangers, still perfect, 
and iiiscri|)tions in the old I lebrow rharncter over the 
rock-liewn poi'tals. 

We can scarcely leave ( Jilcnd without noticing Ixahhah, 
the (M'ty of waters, the capital of Ammon, which, though 
just outside the limits of (Jilead, was closely bound up 
with its history, and was one of the cities of the Roman 



Decapolis. So far as we know, Rabbah was the one 
fortified city or stronghold of this nation, which was 
much less settled and more wild and predatory than the 
sister people of Moab. For the most part the Ammon- 
ites appear to have lived, in the wide plains east of 
Gilead, a true Bedouin life. 

Rabbah was first attacked by David, after the con- 
federacy of Ammon with Syria against him. In the 
first campaign, Abishai merely defeated the Ammonites, 
and drove them to take refuge within its walls. In the 
second, Joab, after a two years' siege, during which 
occurred the miserable incident of Uriah, took '' the 
city of waters," i. e. the lower town, within the walls of 
which the river, which is the head feeder of the Jabbok, 
rises, and then sent for David to complete the conquest 
by the capture of the citadel. Its after history is long 
and important, but out of the range of the Scripture 
story. Ptolemy Philadelphus, B.C. 285, changed its 
name to l^hiladeljj/da, which it retained during Roman 
times. The Saracens found it deserted, and never 
occupied it. It is now known only as Amman, from the 
name of its ancient inhabitants. 

The ruins, though not the most perfect, are perhaps 
the most extensive in all that land of ruins, Syria. 

Tiie expression of Joab, and the fact of the citadel 
requiring a separate siege, are at once understood on 
the spot. Amman stands on the confluence of two little 
streams, which unite in the centre of the place, the two 
Valleys converging into one, and enclosing between them 
ix bold flat triangle of rock, the ancient citadel. This is 
of itself a large city of several acres, and hero alone can 
any tra(!es of buihlingn (nirlier than the (Jrcek 1)0 re- 
cogui/ed in some of the groat lines of foundation stones, 
Tlie ruins genernlly exhibit nothing of Rabbah : it is 
only Roman J'hiladolphia that has left its story in its 
stones ; and nowhere else have 1 seen sculi)tures more 
elaborate and delicate. In number, in extent, in beauty 



of situation and in isolation, they are far the most 
striking and interesting I have seen in Syria, thougli 
not nearly so perfect as those of Jerash. The little 
stream, swarming with fish, which may be caught by a 
handkerchief, flows in a paved channel down the streets, 
and little quays of dressed masomy run on both sides 
for about IJ, miles. There are at least three great 
(Jhristian churches } one which I ascended has a lofty 
tower, with its staircase still unbroken. TJiere are three 
theatres and many temples, besides public buildings of 
every kind ; and columns and fragments of marbles or 
stone strew the surface in all directions. Besides the 
bewildering collection of buildings, theatres, forums, 
odeums, temples, churches, mosques, columns, mauso^ 
leums, tombs, baths, sarcophagi, bridges, are two build- 
ings, unique in design and workmanship, probably of 
Sassouian origin. The principal one, called the Tomb 
of Uriah, is externally a square of 85 feet. Internally 
it has a central hall 33 feet square, open to the sky, 
with eight domed chambers round it, the four central 
open to the courts, the four corner ones walled off, 
giving the appearance, when in the court, of a cruciform 
building. The interior is lined by tiers of sculptured 
arcades with semi-circular arches and dog-tooth mould- 
ings. The panels are carved with the most elaborate 
sculptures, only to be equalled by that of M'ashita, 
east of Moab, and undoubtedly Persian, probably of 
the eighth century a.d. '' E-abbah of the Ammonites 
shall be a desolate heap " (Jer. xlix. 2), As we camp 
among the shattered columns of Kabbath-Ammon, with 
a rude Bedouin guard lying around, we read the prophecy : 
*'I. will deliver thee to the men of the East for a pos- 
session, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and 
make their dwellings in thee* And I will make Rabbah 
a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couching-place 
for flocks" (Ezek. xxv. 4, 5). 




Boundaries of Reuben— Character of tlic Tribe of Reuben— Character and posi- 
tion of his territory— rrcvious history of the land — jMoabites expelled by 
yihon and Auiorites— Gradual retirement of Reuben eastward— Recovery of 
Cities by IVIoab—Beth-Jesimoth—IIeshbon—//t'.s7(?^({3i— Ruins— Fish-pools — 
Elealah—iiTJ/— Field of Zoi>h'un—Ji>i il/dsa— Aslidoth-i'isgali- Mount 
Nebo— Axi'^/n/i- Pisgah — 7^(.s7(17/(t/t— Panoiauia from tlie top of Nebo — Btth- 
Feor — Baal-Feor — Medeba — M(ul>/ahtih—lii\;i]-Mcon — 3At'//i— Zarcth-Shahar 
—Sara — Callirrlioe — Macha:rus— il/'/.'tjf /• — Death of J ohn Bai) — Bamoth 
or Bamoth Baal — Jthd Altar as — Kirjathaim — Kirjath-huzoth^A'crt o/at — 
Progress of Baalani witli Balak— Abarini— Shebani— Sibmah — Kedcmoth — 
Mci>haath — Nopha — Minnith — Mi-njah — Dibon — Dhibaa — Dinion — The 
Moabite Stone — Bezei* — Bosor — Bcslteir—AToer — Ara'ar — Jahaz — The Arnon 
boundary of Israel — Moabite Cities — Sihon — SJdhan — Kir-Haraseth, or 
Kir-Moab—A'< /•«/•— Raynald of Chatillon—Ninirim—N'meirah— Connection 
of David with Mnab — Wars of Moab. 

The southern part of the lirst conquest of Israel under 
Moses, the territory wrested from Sihon, King of the 
Auiorites, after the battle of ,Iahaz, was given to Ileuhen, 
the descendants of the eldest son of Jacob. The extent 
of the allotment of lieuben is very clearly defined (Josh, 
xiii. 15 — 21) from south to north, rcacliing from the 
tremendous ravine of the Anwa, now Wady JNIojil), to a 
line about the north end of the Dead Sea, probably the 
Wady Na'ur or lleshban, and stretching from the lofty 
mountain-range east of the Dead Sea, to an indeHnito 
distance eastward over the ^^Mishor" or "plain country" 
of Moab, now the Ijelka, till it molts into the desert, 
towards tho Euphrates. 

From tlie tinu; of tlie coiKpiest we almost lose sight 
of lveul)en. b^or this tliero are three reasons : (1) tho 
character and position of his teri'itory ; (2) its jwovious 


history nnd occupation ; and (.3) tho character of the 
Eeubenites themselves. E,ou})en, like Gad, had never 
in l^^j^'ypt thrown Msi(h) his pastoral liabits. Tliey had 
"a very groat niultitudo of cattle" (Niuril), xxxii. 1), 
and tho country of Sihon, with the vast grazing-plain 
of the " Mishor " or Belka, was a land for cattle. They 
therefore requested it might l)e granted them, and the 
stipulation was made fcliat they should assist in the con- 
quest of Western Palestine, leaving their flocks in their 
new possessions. In pledge of their union with their 
western - brothers, on their return they erected a great 
heap of stones as a witness, not as an altar for sacrifice, 
on the west side of Jordan, at the place of the passage 
of the host, and called it Ed (Josh xxii.), on the peak 
now called Kurn Surtabeh (see p. 235). 

But Reuben was of too nomad and roving a disposition 
to continue close co-operation with his western brethren. 
Accordingly, we find that he did not respond to Barak's 
call for help against Ja])in. Deborah, indignant, asks, 
'' Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the 
bleatings of the flocks ? For the divisions of Reuben 
there were great searchings of heart " (Judg. v. \Q). 

The position of their territory also cut them off from 
the rest of Israel. By the frontier of the Dead Sea they 
were wholly inaccessible. The only way of communi- 
cation was either round the south end of it, through the 
alien and often hostile kingdom of Moab, or by the very 
difficult passes down to the Jordan Valley by the Wady 
Heshban. They had not, like Gad, a long strip of con- 
tiguous territory, with many fords across the Jordan. 

Still more were they shut out by the previous history 
of their land. From the old archaic song preserved in 
Numbers xxi. 27 — 30, as well as from the historical 
statement in ver. 26, we find that Sihon, King of the 
Amorites, had only recently seized the whole country 
assigned to Reuben. Moab never forgot their prior 

D D 


possession, and persistently looked on Reuben as in- 
truders, to be expelled on the first opportunity. We 
see that the feeling was as strong as ever 300 years 
later, in the remonstrance of the King of Aiinnon to 
Jephthah, and the bold reply of that Gileadite chieftain. 
" Israel took away my land from Arnon, even unto 
Jabbok, and unto Jordan." The reply is, " Israel took 
not away the land of INIoab, . . . for Arnon was the 
border of Moab," Jephthah reminds him how Silion, 
King of the Amorites, attacked Israel in Jahaz, and 
how they dispossessed the Amorites, but that Balak, 
King of Moab, never molested them ; and asks, " While 
Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer 
and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the 
coasts of Arnon, three hundred years : why therefore 
did ye not recover them within that time ? " (Judg. xi. 
13, etc.). 

It is evident, however, tliat Moab continued from 
time to time to press northward, and so drive Reuben 
further into the Belka eastward, and it is probable that 
a tribe so exclusively pastoral and tent-loving cared 
comparatively little for the loss of frontier towns, so 
long as their rich pasturage was left them. Their wars 
were rather against Hagarites eastward, whose " steads " 
they seized and held from the days of Saul (I C^hron. 
v. 10), and thus receded further from connection with 
Israel, Most of the towns of Reuben are spoken of, in 
the latter part of the Old Testament, as Moabite rather 
than Israelite, as IIesh))on, Aroer, Eloalah, Sibmah, 
Dibon, Jazer, Raal-Meon, and Kirjathaim. Not one 
jiiMn of note, after the rebellion of Dathan and A})iram, 
ever sprang fi-om Reuluni. IFo liiid noitljcr prophet^ 
judge, nor liero, ninong liis genealogies. They forgot 
the worship of J(!hoviili, *' :ind went a whoring after the 
gods of the people of the land," till Pul and Tilgath- 
pilnesor, Kings of Assyria,, carried them captive to 


JJahor (the river Chabour) in Mesopotamia (1 Chron. v, 
25, 20). 

llciibeii possessed Iml one town in the Jordan Valley, 
at the north-cast corner, near tlu^ Dead tSea., Beth- 
Jesimoth, whose ruins may be traced on the Wady 
Jerifeh, now 'A in Suweimeh. 

Hence the road into Moab, coming from the fords 
south of Jericho, passes up the valley of the little river 
Heshban to lleshhon, still unchanged in name, Heshban. 
Heshbon stands almost on the crest of the high table- 
land of Moab, very slightly retired from the edge. 

The whole of the country is a table-land, with the ridge 
nearly 3000 feet above the sea, and therefore more than 
4000 above the Dead Sea, from which it rises precipi- 
tously by a series of terraces so narrow and broken that 
passage is impossible ; and then from the crest, scarcely 
more than from two to four miles retired from the sea, 
it gently slopes into the vast Belka, or " plain country," 
and the boundless wilderness beyond. It is deeply 
ploughed and seamed to its very centre by the stupend- 
ous ravines of the (Udl'irrltoe (Zerka Ma'in) and the 
Arnon (Mojib), besides minor wadys. 

Heshhon, evidently near the frontier of Keuben and 
Gad, since it is given by Joshua as one of the Levitical 
cities of the latter (chap. xxi. ver. 39), has very few 
Jewish traces, though its ruins are very considerable. 
It stands on an isolated round hill, one of the many 
Hariths or Ilarosheths of Moab — the name given by them 
to a round hill, with a little stream running past it. 
The hill is one heap of shapeless ruins, while all the 
neighbouring slopes are full of caves, once occupied as 
habitations. There are many Doric columns and Roman 
remains mingled with those of later and earlier dates. 
The public buildings are too much overthrown to be 
easily traced. In one edifice we noticed the old great 
stones with the Jewish or Phoenician bevel, Roman 


arches, Doric pillars, and Saracenic work, all strangely 
mingled in their overthrow. There are also many large 

Below the city, to the east,, are the remains of water- 
courses and an enormous reservoir, supposed to be that 
alluded to by Solomon: "Thine eyes are like the fish- 
pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-Kabbim " (Cant, 
vii, 4). But more probably the allusion is to the bright 
clear pools whicli we meet with in following the course 
of the Nahr Heshban, all 'swarming with a species of 
Eastern char. The plain also is full of deep wells, half- 
choked and dry, reminding one of 2 Kings iii. 19, 25, 
and rendering riding dangerous, (jonder suggests with 
much probability that the gate of Bath-Babbim may 
be the passage cut through the rocks at the top of the 
steep winding mountain-path, from the stream to the 
city on the plateau above. 

In the time of Hezekiah, Heshbon had evidently been 
recovered by Moab ; for Isaiah, in the burden of Moab 
(xv. 4), says, " Heshbon shall cry, and Elealah," etc. : 
and so it continued in the days of Jeremiah, a century 
hiter, as we see from chap, xlviii. 2, 34, 35. 

Elealah is very near Heshbon, as we might judge from 
their being coupled, both by Isaiah and Jeremiah. 
*' The cry of Heshbon, even unto Kleabvh." It is now 
called El 'Al, and is, like Heshbou, on a ''harith" or 
gre<'n knoll, bare and treeless, but with springs and 
plenty of wells, with luxuriant vonluro. It is truly 
desolate : "The shouting for thy sunnner fruits and for 
tliy harvest is fallen " (Isa. xvi. 0). One solitiiry Doric 
column stands out ghostlike on its slope, the rest are all 
prostrates ; but heaps of cni-ved cornices and capitals tell 
of its prosjMn'ity, oven so lat<' ms the I Ionian times. 
Since then it ii))pears to li;ive been utterly deserted, for 
there nre no Saracenic traces. It stands h'ss tlian 1 wo 
miles north-east of Heshbon. 


From Heshbon the table-land runs, with slight undu- 
lations and knolls rising here and there, to the point of 
the deep ravines of the Zcrka Ma'in (Mean), but flanked 
on the west by the ridge, the liighest point of which is 
Mount Nebo. This cultivatable highland is the " field 
of Zopliim'' (Numb, xxiii. 14), to which Balak con- 
ducted ]>alaam, and of which Pisyah, the crest of Mount 
Nebo, is the highest point. 

To the north of Nebo, in a valley leading to the foot 
of the mountain, is the fountain known as Ain Musa, the 
Well of Moses, and which is the Ashdoth-Pisgah of J^eut. 
iii. 17, called in Deut. iv. 49, "the springs of Pisgah," 
the word Aslidoth meaning springs or roots. It is also 
mentioned (Josh. xii. 8, xiii. 20) in recapitulating the 
boundaries of Reuben. 

From the south-east corner of the Seisaban, an ancient 
road ascends south of that to Heshbfin, from the Wady 
Rameh to Ayun Miisa, and thence to the ruins of 
Nebbeh, known as Tal'at el Heith, the gohuj up of 
Luhith mentioned by Isaiah and Jeremiah. 

Mount Nebo, now Jebel Nebbeh, though still retaining 
its ancient name, has only lately been identified and 
visited. It would seem that the range, of which it is the 
highest summit, bore the name of Pisgah, though now 
no trace of the name, Pisgah, can be recognized in the 
vernacular. The "field of Zophim," as has been said, 
was the high table-land sloping back from it, and thus 
Pisgah included both Zophim and Nebo. In the time 
of Jerome the name remained, and it is curious that, 
though not found on the east side, the Arabic equivalent 
for Pisgah is now given to a headland nearly opposite, 
standing out into the Dead Sea, Ras-el-Feshkhah, i. e. 
the headland of Pisgah. This, of course, cannot be the 
Pisgah of the Pentateuch. 

The view from Nebo strikingly illustrates the minute 
accuracy of the Sacred history. "The Lord showed 


Moses all the land of Gilead unto (rather ' towards ') Dan, 
and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Man- 
asseh, and all the land of Judah, unto (' towards ') the 
utmost sea, and the south (^Neyeh), and the plain of the 
valley of Jericho, the city of palm-trees, unto Zoar " 
(Deut. xxxiv. 1 — 3). To the eastward, as we turned 
round, the ridge seemed gently to slope for two or three 
miles, when a few small ruin-clad " tells " or hillocks, 
Heshbon, Jelul, and others, broke the monotony of the 
outline ; and then, sweeping forth, rolled in one vast 
unbroken expanse the goodly Belka, one boundless 
plain, stretching far into Arabia, till lost in the horizon 
— one waving ocean of corn and grass. Not a tree, not 
a bush, not a house could be seen ; but the glass revealed 
the black tents dotted far and near. As the eye turned 
southward, the peak of Jebel Shihan (Sihon) just stood 
out behind Jebel Attarus, and the peaks faded with a 
rosy hue into the distance. Still turning westward, 
though the east side of the Dead Sea was too immediately 
beneath us to be visible, we could trace its western 
outline for half its extent. In the centre to the left a 
bi-eak and a green spot beneath it marked Engedi, the 
nest once of the Kenite, now of the wild goat. Behind, 
we could trace the ridge of Hebron as it lifted from the 
south-west, as far as Bethlehem and Jerusalem. There 
was tlic Mount of Olives, with the church on its top, the 
gap in the hills leading u[) from Jericho, and the 
rounded heiglits of Benjamin on the otlier side. Still 
turning northward, the eye was riveted by the deep 
Jordan Vjilley and the twin oases of Jericho. Closer 
still beneath us, on this side the river, had Israel's last 
c;imp extended, in front of the green fringe which peeped 
forth from undcu* the terraces in our foreground, 'i'he 
d.'irk sinuous bed of Jordan was aoon lost in dim haze. 
Then, looking over it, the eye rested on Ueri/im's 
rounded top; and further still opened the Plain of 


Esdraclon, the shoulder of Carmcl or some other inter- 
vening lieight jnst .showing to the right of Gerizim, while 
beyond it was a faint and distant bluish haze. North- 
ward again rose the distinct outline of unmistakable 
Tabor, aided by which we could identify Gilboa and 
Little Hermon. Beyond, Hermon's snowy top was 
mantled in cloud, and Lebanon's highest range must 
have been exactly shut behind it, while in front, due 
north of us, stretched in long line the dark forests of 
Gilead, terminating in Jebel Osha, behind Kamoth- 
Gilead. To the north-east the vast Hauran or Bashan 
stretched beyond. The ruins of an extensive fort and 
town bearing the same name, Nebbeh, are about half -a- 
mile to the west. 

The lateral range, which culminates in Nebo, ter- 
minates bluntly in a lower brow some distance to the 
west of it. On a bold headland on the edge of this 
lower terrace, half-an-hour's ride from the summit, is a 
large pile of ruins, with the remains of strong fortifica- 
tions, and artificially scarped rocks, with great cisterns 
inside the fort, old temples and the Christian church, 
with the apse remaining standing, called by the Arabs 
Si'agha. An interesting trace of the name Zophim we 
owe to Lt.-Col. Conder. He points out that the name 
Tal'at es Sufa, " the ascent of Sufa," is applied to the 
northern slope from Si'agha descending to the Springs of 
Moses. Sufa is the Arabic representative of Zopliimi. 
The name of Si'agha as I received it from the Beni 
Hameydi, I took to be Zi'ara. Any one who has had 
experience of the difficulty of catching the guttural in- 
flexions of the Bedouin will understand my mistake. 

On a later visit to the district, I am inclined to concur 
in Lt.-Col. Conder's suggestion, that Zoaf is better 
represented by Tell esh Shaghiir, "the mound of the 
little one," a low hill on the south side of the Wady 
Heshaa, at the foot of the mountain range. It answers 


reasonably the requirements of the Biblical allusion, 
on the border of Moab and of the Jordan Plain, and 
under the mountains, and an insignificant place. There 
are springs close by, and the ruins do not extend 200 
yards. In the description of the view granted to 
Moses, we read, " He beheld the south and the plain 
of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm-trees, unto 
Zoar.^^ The whole lower Jordan Valley was in view, 
including Beth-Jesimoth up to Zoar, which, is concealed 
under the brow of the mountain. One expression may 
be noticed in confirmation of the identification : Zoar, 
though on a hill, must have had higher ground behind 
it, for we read (Gen. xix. 30) that "Lot went up out 
of Zoar and dwelt in the mountain ... in a cave." 
The ground rises steeply behind Zoar for two or three 
miles, and is pierced by many caves. Heshbon, also, 
only a few miles distant, was the original seat of the 
Moabites (Numb. xxi. 26). 

A recent traveller has endeavoured to show that Jebel 
Si'agha, the spot where the ruins mentioned above stand, 
is Pisgah. The arguments adduced would bo equally 
conclusive on behalf of any of the many flat-topped 
mounds of the neighbourhood, one of which must have 
been Pisgah, though its Arabic equivalent, Feshkhah, 
seems to have dropped out of the local nomenclature. 

Somewhere near this was Jieth-Peor; for JNIoses was 
buried in a valley o.ver against Beth-Peor (Deut. xxxiv. 
G), a Hebrew substitute for Baal-Peor, but the name or 
precise locality has not yet been traced. It must have 
been north of Callirrhoe^ now Zei'ka Ma'in, and is placed 
by (Jonder at Minyeh, seven miles south-west of Nebo. 

Minyoh is the boldest westward projection of the range, 
and (juito olT the lino of the Israelites' march from the 
Arnon to Nebo. It (jommands a more perfect view of 
the Plain of Shittini tlian any otiier point, and in lioight 
is only exceeded by Muslubiycli, bctvveiMi it and lNel)o, 

lUiiUIMON AND JM0A15 409 

From it alone could a view of the 'whole Israelitish host 
ill the Plain of Shittini he obtained. It is very remark- 
able that there are on this peak seven monuments of 
prehistoric type, each consisting of a circle of great 
stones, with a central cubical stone. Most of them are 
more or less ruined or confused, but one is quite perfect. 
Similar stone circles and dolmens and menhirs are found 
both on Nebo and Maslubiyeh, the ancient Bamoth Ikud. 
This latter is close to the Wady Jideid, which Lt.-Ool. 
Conder explains as a trace of Baal-Gad. These three 
summits to which Balak brought Balaam were sacred 
to three Moabite deities, Baal the Sun God, Nebo the 
Mercury of their mythology, and Peer, who answered 
to the Egyptian Khem, or Priapus. At each site 
seven altars were raised, one to each .of the seven 
planetary gods. 

Following the track of the ancient road which went 
through the very heart of Moab from Heshbon to Kir- 
Moab, and thence to Edom, we come to Medeha, now 
Madibah, not far from the centre of the plateau. The 
ruins are extensive, and indicate a high state of pros- 
perity in the Roman period. With Heshbon and Dibon, 
Medeba was one of the most ancient of the cities of 
Moab. Roads and streets can easily be traced in all 
directions ; a few columns still stand erect, portions of 
gateways, Christian churches, with the apses yet entire. 
Besides the ruins, Moabite, Grseco-Roman, and Byzan- 
tine, above ground, the whole of the two '' Tdls " on 
which ancient Medeba stood are honeycombed, not only 
with cisterns, but with dwellings, showing that the 
inhabitants must have been largely troglodyte. But the 
most remarkable relic at Medeba is the magnificent 
reservoir, constructed somewhat like Solomon's Pools, 
and 120 yards square. It is still perfect, but, the 
channel being choked, is now converted into a field. 

Mede])a was one of the cities of Moab taken by Sihon 


(Numb. xxi. 10), and, after his destruction, assigned to 
Reuben. Joshua spake of it as in the plain (Mishor) or 
highland of Moab. But Reuben seems to have lost it 
before David's time, for here Joab's battle against 
Ammon was fought (1 Chron. xix. 7). In the time of 
Isaiah it had again become Moabite. " Moab shall howl 
over Nebo and Medeba " (Isa. xv, 2). It was the scene 
of many a struggle in the days of the Maccabees. At 
the date of my first visit Medeba was utterly deserted. 
On revisiting it lately I found a large colony of Latin 
Christians from Kerak, all dwelling in caves, not one 
house above ground, and their worthy priest had formed 
a cave into a crypt-church. 

About four miles south-west of Medeba are the ruins 
of Ma'in, the Baal-Meo}i of Sacred history, called also 
by contraction Beon (Numb, xxxii, 3), and Beth-Baal- 
Meon (Josh. xiii. 7) ; one of the cities " built," or, more 
probably, restored by Reul)en on the downs of Moab. 
It is close to the edge of the deep ravine of the Zerka 
Ma'in, the second principal stream east of the Dead Sea^ 
and situated on rising ground. The ruins heie are very 
extensive, and the country well cultivated. Most of 
the remains are Greek or Roman, and none of later date. 
They occupy four adjacent hills, one having evidently 
been the central city, and connected with the rest by a 
wide causeway. 

Almon-Dihlathaini, or Beth-JJiblathaini, one of the 
camping-places of Israel l)otweon Dibon-CJad and the 
mountains of A))arim, corresponds to Kh. Deleiyat, 
on the road south of Ma'in, just l)oyond the Wady 
Habis. The Hebrew name signifies 'Hhe two discs," 
and hero, and in several other places in Moab, we find 
lingo stone discs, like grc^at millstonos, generally thrown 
down, l)ut in one iiistiuico upi-ighl, sunk a little in the 
ground, 'l^liey are generally about ten feet in diameter, 
and not pierced like a millstone. 1 never saw anything 


liko them in other parts of Syria, excepting one at 
Marathus in Northern Phoenicia. They were probably 
connected with Sun- or Baal-worship. 

The Roman road down the wady to the Dead Sea can 
easily be traced a little to the west of Ma'in. In an 
embayed recess on the shore, about three miles south of 
the mouth of the Zerka Ma'in, in a situation much 
resembling that of the oasis of Engedi, are the incon- 
siderable ruins of Zara, the Zareth-^ShaJiar of Josh. xiii. 
19. It is not afterwards named. The river, sunk in a 
dark chasm many hundred feet deep, with basaltic rocks 
on one side and red sandstone on the other, is shaded by 
oleanders ; and wherever there is space the palm-trees, 
which formerly were so abundant all through the Jordan 
Valley, still grow luxuriantly and untended. It may 
be observed that Zareth-Shahar is stated to be " in 
the mount of the valley," or ^^ eiiiek,'' i. e. " the hollow," 
a word describing its situation. Numerous hot and 
somewhat sulphurous springs fertilize the little 

On the way to it ai-e the hot springs and ruins of 
Callirrhoe, before reaching which are some ancient rock- 
hewn tombs. To these springs Herod the Great went, 
in the vain hope of being cured of his loathsome disease. 
There are ten of these hot springs, so abundant that 
they heat the whole water of the stream to a tempera- 
ture of 70° at its mouth up to 140° at the junction with 
the largest fountain. They are strongly charged with 
sulphur. One of them forms a cascade from a perpen- 
dicular cliff, which is covered with the incrustation of 
sulphur. The whole surface of the ledge is strewn with 
tiles and broken pottery, but the wady seems to be 
scarcely ever visited, even by the Bedouin of the neigh- 

Lasha (Gen. x. 19), signifying " a fissure," is supposed 
to be Calliry'hoe, or, as it is now called, Hammam ez 


Zerka, the JVahaliel oil^umh. xxi. 19, i.e. "the Valley 
of God." 

Mounting again up this tremendous ravine, we reach 
the ruins of M'kaur, the ancient Macltcerus, about five 
miles south, and due west of Kureiyat. This famous 
castle is not mentioned by name in Scripture, but is 
connected with it from the statement of Josephus, that 
here John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded. 
It is often mentioned in the Maccaba^an history, and 
was Herod's strongest fortress. It is stated to have 
been the strongest fortress of tlie Jews, and hekl out 
after the destruction of Jerusalem, having beeji enor- 
mously strengthened by Herod. 

The fortress stands on a round hill at the east end 
of a narrow and isolated ridge, on which the inhabited 
city must have been • built. It is very different in cha- 
racter from any other ruins in Moab. Nothing remains 
but a few courses of stones above the foundations. But 
the whole building material has been collected by the 
liand of man into one prodigious mass on the crest of 
the ridge, where it remains in weird-like desolation, a 
monument of the vengeance taken by the Roman legions 
against the last desperate patriots of the Jewish revolts. 
The outline of the fortress may still be traced very 
clearly, and in it two dungeons, one of them deep, and 
its sides scarcely broken in. One of these must have 
been the prison-house of the Baptist.^ 

Not far from this must have been llainotii (Numb. 
xxi. 19) or Jianwth JJaal (Josh. xiii. 17), a high place of 
Baal, "in the valley," i.e. tlie ravine overhanging the 
valley. The ruined sites hero are very numerous, but 
the name not yet boon recovered. (V)nder gives 

' Mii(;li;T3iii.s find iliti whole district of the ( 'allinhiM^ have boon 
(^\|)l()|■^tl l»y tli(! writor, and lully dcsciihed in his Lamf of Alnab. 
Duaii Kariar, in hi.s Life of Christ, enuiiooubly places Macliajnis 
to the norlli ol' the Dead Sea. 


good reasons for identifying it with Maslubiyeh, a 
great dolmen centre just sontli of Wndy Jedc^r. 

To the Koiitli of tlie vviuly r-is(>s .hilx;) Attarns, evi- 
detitly .some ancneut Alaroth ol Moal), tlio higliest 
mountain in the district, and often by older travellers 
mistaken for Nebo. There are ruins to the west of it, and 
on its southern slopes. On its summit are the remains 
of a high place and of a sacred grove, in a great heap 
of stones, and a solitary aged tree, once perhaps a 
sanctuary of Chemosh or Baal. 

We learn from the Moabite Stone, that Ataroth was 
the first place from which Mesha King of Moal) drove 
out the " men of Gad " in his successful revolt against 

Close to the south of Jebel Attarus are the ruins 
called Kureiyat, to the west of the road between Dibon 
and Medeba, probably Kirjathaim, mentioned as one 
of the cities rebuilt and renamed by the Reubenites. 
In the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel it had reverted to 
Moab, and, written in our version Kiriathaim, is men- 
tioned in the denunciation of that people (Jer. xlviii. 
1 ; Ezek. xxv. 9). It is written Kirioth in Amos ii. 2. 
It is probably the same as the Kirjath-huzoth to which 
Balak took Balaam on his first arrival (Numb. xxii. 39), 
and which is nowhere else named. The ruins are con- 

Accepting this interpretation, we can easily trace the 
progress of Balaam with the King of Moab. Balak first 
met him on the banks of the Arnon, then proceeded 
north with iiim to Kirjath-huzoth, the northern Kiria- 
tJiaini, and its high place, the top of Attarus immediately 
above it, and the first conspicuous eminence north of 
the Arnon ; then across the Zerka the next day to the 
high places of Baal, Baalmeon, afterwards changed 
by the Beubenites into Bethmeon, where a peep only 
could be obtained of the Jordan Valley and the camp of 


Israel. Thence, in order that he might see the utmost 
part of Israel's host, he brought liim still further north 
to the top of risyah. Finally, in the last vain attempt 
to conciliate the Deity by fresh sacrifices, he led him to 
the top of Feor, which we have proposed to identify with 
Minyeh, as affording the most comj)lete view of the 
wJiole Israelite camp in the plains of Shittim. 

Thus we have, with every reasonable probability, the 
identification of the sacrificial stations of Balak and 

Aharim (Numl). xxxiii. 44, etc.) seems to have been the 
general term for the whole mountain range from Gilead 
to the Arnon. 

jSibmah, or Shihmah, probably the same with Shebam, 
named between Elealah and Nebo (Numb, xxxii. 3), 
must have been close to Heshbon. It may be recognized 
in Siimia, a group of important ruins only two miles 
from Heshbun on the wady. Tliere are various pre- 
historic remains, dolmens, sarcophagi, and the ruins of a 
Byzantine town on the surface. Very appropriately too, 
if this be Hil)mah, there are several wine-presses and the 
ruins of vineyard towers on the hill above Sibmah. It 
afterwards passed again into tlie possession of Moab, as 
we find from the prophets. " The fields of Heshbon 
lanirnish, and the vine of Sihmah." " I will bewail 
with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sihmah " (Isa. 
xvi. 8, 9). " O vine of Sihmah, I will weep for thee with 
the weeping of Jazer " (Jer. xlviii. 32). 

Of other Eeubenite cities named in connection with the 
a])Ove, Jis Kedf^motJij one of the places taken by Shishak, 
Mvplmath, iind Nojtha, nothing lias been ro-discovercd. 

M'mnith, mentioned as the place to which Jeplithah 
pursued tlu^ Amorites from Arocr (Judg. xi. 33), seems 
to \\'.\.vv. l)een a, district in the ''Mixhor'' or downs of 
IVIoa,]), th(^ modei-n Belka, containing twenty cities. It 
was tlion, as now, a great corn-growing district, "the 


wheat of Minnilh " being eel el )ra,ted hy Ezekiel (chap. 
xxvii. 17). The name may perliaps be traced in Menjah, 
east of lleslibon, and in Maliannah, further south, visited 
by Irby and Mangles. Conder suggests Minyeh, the 
district of Peer. 

The ancient south road from Heshbon to Pefcra next 
passes ])lhon, now Dhiban, about 3| miles north of 
the Arnon, one of the most celebrated of the Reubenite 
cities, and now further remarkable for the discovery of 
the Moabite Stone. Originally belonging to Moab, it 
had boon conquered by Sihon (Numb. xxi. 20), and fell 
to Israel on his destruction. It was first rebuilt and 
occupied by Gad, but finally allotted to Keuben from its 
situation. At the period of the later prophets, like the 
rest of the district, it had been resumed by Moab, and is 
mentioned by Isaiah and Jeremiah in their denunciations 
of that people. It would appear from the Moabite 
Stone that Dibon was also known as Karcha, or else 
that Karcha was a fortified suburb of Dibon. 

Its ruins are extensive, and, like many other Moabite 
cities, it has occupied two adjacent tells or low rounded 
hills, surrounded by one continuous wall of circumval- 
lation. The Moabite Stone, discovered close to Dhiban 
in 1868, by the' Rev. F. Klein, is one of the most impor- 
tant monuments of ancient times which has come down 
to us, though now, unfortunately, since its discovery, 
broken and imperfect. It is, in fact, the contemporary 
Moabite account of the events recorded in 2 Kings iii., 
and shows how, after the inroad upon Moab and the 
destruction of their cities by the combined forces of 
Israel, Judah, and Edom, Mesha, king of Moab, re- 
covered his independence and made Dibon his capital. 
The whole of this territory seems, from the burden 
of Isaiah and Jeremiah, to have remained in the 
possession of Moab till the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar. 

T\\Q Dimon of Isaiah (xv, 9) is more probably to be 


found at Dimnah, south of the Avnon, though by a 
far-fetched interpretation it has been identified with 
Dibon. Condor suggests M'Deineli, or IJnim Deineh, a 
place discovered by me on the Wady Themed, far to the 
east, in the Mishor, or uph\nd phxin, north-east of Dibon. 
But this seems too far to the east. I should rather 
identify M'Deineh with Madmen (Jer. xlviii. 2). Eight 
miles duo south of M'Deineh, and about the same distance 
due east from Dibon, the ruin of Jemail marks the site 
of Beth-Gaviul, near the vast ruins of Umm Rasas, and 
the solitary " Tower of the Christian lady," standing 
out in the wilderness. Holon was another city in the 
" Mishor," or upland plain. The position is unknown, 
but Conder suggests 'Aleiyan as probable. 

The ruins of Bezer, in the wilderness or downs 
(Mishor), the Bosor of the Apocrypha, have been recently 
discovered by Prof. Palmer, little more than two miles 
soutli-west of Dibon, now called Kasur el Besheir. 
They are on a knoll, and are of some extent. Bezer 
was not only a Levitical city, but was one of the three 
cities of refuge east of Jordan. 

Some clue to the position of Minnith, and certainly a 
most interesting illustration of the persistency of topo- 
graphical nomenclature, as well as an illustration of the 
minute accuracy of the Bible narrative, may be found 
in the fact that a valley, or rather a gentle depression 
with sloping sides, running for about fo\u' miles east of 
Dhibau, is still cnlled " Kurm Dhiban," the Vineyards 
of Dibon. They are the old dykes or grass-grown 
ridges which mark the sites of the vines ; but for 
ccmturios not a vine has grown here. l>ut when we 
turn to Judges xi. 33 we read that Jcphthah, after his 
defeat of ilu! Ammonites, "smote tlunn frcmi Aroer, 
even iHI thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, 
;i,n<l unto the jilain (or meadoni) of the vmeyarih {Abel 
(Jhcrainiitt), with a very great slaughter." 


Aroer, the frontier city of Reuben, was situated due 
south of Dibon, on the edge of the ravine of the Ai^non, 
and is now called Ara'ar. The ruins are utterly desolate. 
It was from soutli to north across this highland 
plateau that Israel made their last march towards the 
Land of Promise under Moses. They had made their 
last desert camp in the valley of Zared, now the Wady 
at Hesi, near the rich oasis of Tophel, now Tufilet, 
where there is abundance of water. This valley is the 
recognized boundary between Moab and the Edomite 
desert. Thence they advanced to the banks of the 
Arnon without molestation, either by the direct route, 
where the great Roman road now runs, past Kerak and 
through Rabbath Moab : or else making a detour to the 
east over the pasture-lands of the MisJtor. From this 
point six stations are mentioned, Arnon, Beer, MattanaJi, 
Nahaliel, Banioth Baal, and Pisgah. Each of these 
camps would be pitched near one of the springs or 
streams of the country, except Beer, where a well was 
dug. Lt.-Col. Conder points out, that dividing the 
whole distance, about twenty miles, the stations would 
be four miles apart. Beer was probably close to Dibon 
(compare Numb, xxxiii. 45). Mattanah answers to the 
great Wady Waleh, with its dolmens and stone monu- 
ments. Nahaliel, *'the valley of God," is the Callirrhoe, 
Wady Zerka Ma'in : where just before it begins to form 
a gorge, there is another great group of dolmens and 
menhirs. Half-way between this and Pisgah is the 
Wady Jideid or Maslubiyeh, with a group of more than 
one hundred megalithic monuments. Thus they moved 
at about the rate of a Bedouin camp, and each great 
brook on the route is mentioned. 

The road from Aroer leads straight down the ravine, 
and the ruins of the bridge across the Arnon may still 
be seen. On the opposite brow probably stood Jahaz, 
now Muhatel el Haj. There are still the ruins of a 

E E 



fort, and the ravine is even here, so far from its entrance 
to the sea, of the tremendous depth of 1500 feet. 
Jahaz, or Jahazdh, a Levitical city of Keuben, was the 
scene of the decisive battle in which Israel destroyed 
Sihon and the Amorites, and gained possession of the 
first instalment of their land (Numb. xxi. 23). It was 
evidently on the extreme south border of Reuben ; yet, 
as the spot here named is south of the Arnon, it is quite 
possible that Jahaz must be looked for a little further 
north. Ziza has been suggested. But that is too far 
north and east. 

The Arnon was the limit of the trans-Jordanic 
Palestine. " From Arnon to Hermon " was equivalent 
on the east side to "from Dan to Beersheba" on the 
west. The river absolutely splits by its narrow channel 
the great Moab range to their very base, for several 
thousand feet ; yet its channel is not more than one 
hundred feet wide. South of it Israel never extended 
their conquests ; while those north of it were, as we 
have seen, soon lost, at least as far as Heshbon. It is 
therefore difficult to separate the history of Keuben 
from that of Moab. 

There are many cities of Moab south of the Arnon, 
whose names are preserved in the Arabic vernacular, 
but all of them, with one solitary exception, are forsaken 
ruins. One single town, that of Kbrak, represents all 
that remains of a kingdom which could once withstand 
the united armies of Israel, Judah, and Edom. On a 
liill four miles south of the Arnon, the name of Shihan 
perpetuates the memory of the town of 8ihon, the 
Amorite (conqueror. 

Further south is Kabba, the ancient Rahhath-Moah, 
once Ar of Moah and the capital of tho nation, but now 
utterly desolate, though with tho remains of mngnificent 
ciHtorns, countless tombs, and superl) temples. Some 
of those latter are :uii()n«; tlu' lincsl ruins in Kastern 


Syria. And eight miles further south is Kerak, the 
ancient Kir of Moah, or Kh'-llaraseth, where King 
Mesha sacrificed his eldest son to propitiate his god 
Chemosh in his war against Israel and Judah (2 
Kings iii.). 

Kerak still has a population of 7000 or 8000. Its 
history is continuous from the days of Moab. It was 
a bishopric in the early Christian times, and was after- 
wards the stronghold of the Crusaders east of Jordan. 
To the perfidy and insolence of Kaynald of Chatillon, 
lord of Kerak, was due the fatal termination of the 
Great Crusade by the battle of Hattin, a.d. 1187. Ray- 
nald, by his refusal to make restitution for a caravan he 
had robbed, provoked Saladin to muster his hosts for 
the complete expulsion of the Christians. In the last 
Crusade the Emir of Kerak, a.d. 1238, captured Jeru- 
salem and drove out the knights. 

Kerak, " the nest in the rock " of Moab, was one of 
the strongest natural fortresses in the world before the 
use of cannon. It stands on the top of an almost 
isolated peak, 2700 feet above the sea, and absolutely 
inaccessible to cavalry. Its Crusading remains are 

The south-eastern corner of the lowland on the shores 
of the Dead Sea, now the Ghor es Safieh, is one of the 
richest and most luxuriant spots in the country. Its 
principal town was Nimrim or Beth-nimrah, not to be 
confounded with the Beth-Nimrah opposite Jericho. It 
is spoken of by Isaiah and Jeremiah. '' The waters of 
Nimrim shall be desolate, for the hay is withered away, 
the grass faileth, there is no green thing " (Isa. xv. 6). 
The greenness, exuberant fertility, and plenteous foun- 
tains are still as marked as ever, but only a few Bedouin 
remain there in their wretched huts. The ruins of 
Nemeireh mark the site of an ancient city close to the 
shore of the lake ; but there is another in the mountains 



at the head of the waters, which is more probably the 
ancient city, — Tufileh, the ancient Tophel. 

We cannot leave this now desolate land of Moab 
without recalling that David lia«l Moabite blood in his 
veins from his great-grandmother Ruth ; and that pro- 
bably from tliis family tie he placed his parents with 
the King of Moab for safety during his wanderings from 
the face of Saul (1 Sam. xxii. 3, 4). Afterwards, how- 
ever, David made war on Moab — we are not informed 
for what cause : possibly for treachery to his parents — 
and put to the sword two-thirds of the men (2 Sam. viii. 
2). He thus reduced Moab to servitude. With the 
exception of Solomon having had Moabite wives, and 
erecting for their god Chemosh an altar on the Mount 
of Olives, Moab only again comes in contact with the 
history of Israel in its subjugation by Omri, its revolt 
against Ahab, and the combined expedition recorded in 
2 Kings iii., 2 Chron. xv., and in the Moabite Stone. 

Afterwards Moab made forays into Israel (2 Kings 
xiii. 20), and, in conjunction with Nebuchadnezzar, 
against Judah (2 Kings xxiv. 2), the former by the fords 
of the Jordan, the latter, as Mesha had before attempted, 
round the south end of the Dead Sea. 

On the return from the Captivity, Sanballat of 
Horonaim, a Moabite, was the bitter enemy of the re- 
turned exiles. From that time Moab as a nation dis- 
ap[)ears from history and bocomos n mere? geographiciil 


Ahiuiiii, 111 

Aixhh, i;!, :iO;}, ;:!4;} 

Al)(l-ol-Maaz, 874 

Abdoii, 343 

Abcl-lH'th-M;iacliiili, 321i 

Abel-cliui'amiiii, 410 

Abel-Maim, 329 

Abfl-Mchobih, 236, 275 

Abel-yiiittiiii, 392 

Abez, 281 

Ahil, 329, 380 

Abila, 274, 380 

Abilene, 274 

AbUiti, 299 

Abioii, 343 

Accho, 240, 249 

Aceldama, 203 

Aehor, 120 

Aclisaiili, 259 

Ac.hzib, 58, 341 

Acn', 340 

Acre, Plain of, 2(31 

Acu, 249 

Adadali, 22 

Adami, 328 

Adam, 112, 23(i 

Adamah, 328 

Adar, 13, 14 

'Adcr, Khirbtt, IG 

Adithaim, (31 

Adlun, 352 

Admah, 108, 112 

Adrnah, Khirbcf, 328 

Adonis, 359 

Adcn'aim, 80 

Adraa, 309 

Adullam, 02 

Adumiuini, 120 

>Elia Capitolina, 211 

Mnon. 284 

Afka, 359 

Afrani, Wady et, 81 

Af(deii, 284 

Ahlab, 387, 351 

Ai, 134 

Aiath, 135 

Ai.jalon, 301 

Ain 'Ataii, 93, 152 

Aiti-el-B<irci(ltli, 311 

Ain-7)nk; 127, 210 

Aiii FeshkUah, 118 

Ain d Fidit/eh, 311 

Ain Haj/a, 118, 119 

Ain Haud, 121, 154, 2S5 

Ain-Haszur, 322 

A/a Ilclwch, 275 

Ainit/ui, 323 

Ain Jalud, 2G9 

Ain Jidy, 118 

Ain KamUi, 344 

Ain Karlm, 151 

Ain Kezbck, 58 

Ain Liftd, 151 

Ain Ma/dl, 290 

Ai7i Mudaioamh, 314 

Ain MuHd, 405 

Ain Muwcileh, 9 

Ain Rinimon, 32 

Ain Sarah, 89 

Ahi Shtiit.s, (35 

Ain Sinia, 138 

Ain Sultan, 125 

Ain Suweimeh, 393, 403 

Ain Tabighali, 315 

Ain et Tin, 315 

Ain Uiiini el Veraj, 199 

Ain Zahrali, 275 

Alnh, 390 

Ajalon, 08 

' Ajldn, Kli., 53 

Ajlnn, River, 389 

Ajlun, Mountain, 383 

Ajtityi, Wady, 389 

Ak/tir, 44 

Akka, 340 

Akra, 105, 1(>7 

Akrabbim, 12, 13 

Aksa el (Mosque of), 192 

Alammelecli, 200 

Alclyan, 410 

Alcmctli, 141, 155 

Alia, 200, 343 

'Alin Kit., Wady, 07 

AUon-Bacliuth, 135 

Ahna, 344 

Ahnct, 141 

Ahidt, 155 

Alinon, 141 

Almon-Diblatluiiiii, 410 

Alotli, 343 

Amad, 260 

Amalckitcs, 2, 15, 18 

Amau), 18 

Amana, 334 

Aiudleh, 380, 389 

Amatha (Baths), 381 

Amatlius, 380, 389 

Aniatu, 333 

Amkah, 343 

Animah, 145 



Amman, 3'JS 

Ammaus, 308 

Amorites, Mt. of, 3 

Amud c<l Iktii, 229 

Amnd, Wadif, 313 

AmvAl, El, 226 

Amirns, 73, 103, 218 

Anab, 81 

Anaharoth, 284 

Ananiah, 145 

AncUa, 149 

Anuthotli, 149 

Alien, 267 

Aner, 24S 

Anini, 80 

'Anhti, 248 

'Anin, 267 

Antiitatiis, 74 

Antonia, Tower of, 172 

Althaea, 359 

Apliek, 57, 85, 270, 321, 364 

Ara'ar, 417 

Aral), 85 

Arabah, 2, 296 

Arahiijcli, Klurbet d, 85 

Arad.'ie, 22 

Arada, 337 

Ar(tL- el Emir, 396 

And' el Menshlycli, 60 

Aram, 836 

Am rah, Wad//, 22 

Araunah, Tlireshiiiglloor of, LSI 

Arbela, 380 

Arclielais, 237 

Arehi, 216 

Ardcl BiUtavf, 301 

A, -del Hamiua, 306, 328 

Argob, 362, 366 

Ard; Ayn, 216 

A risk, Waditil, 3, 14, 10, 18 

Ar Moab, 4 IS 

Anion, 105, 403 

Aroer (Gad), 390 

Aroer(Judali), 22 

Aro(!r (Moab), 417 

Arrahch, 246 

Artuf, 67 

Animali, 235 

Arus, Avn el, 21 

Arvad, 337 

Anal ill, 67 

Ascension, Mt. of, 159 

'AitcUeh, 60 

Asliaii, 59 

Axk'a.ii/, El, 365 

Aslidod, 42, 47 

Aslidotli-l'isgah, 405 

'Asliecn, IJiiiiii, 9 

Ashcr, 2;i9, :t:!(l 

Asli tl (Jliuiah, 27i'> 

Ashkelon. 4(1, 47 

Aslmali, 5ii, 67 

Asliterolli-Karnaiin, 365 

Jslndi, 239 

M/f/la;-, 228 

AMhir, Wiuli/, 11 1 

AskalAn, 40 

Astarotli, 364 

Atara, 146 

Atarath, 413 

Ataroth, 216, 395, 413 

Atarotli-Adar, 146, 216, 3i»5 

Athlit, 219 

Atiin, 66 

Atr, Kit., 60 

Atr()th-sho])han, 395 

Attarus, 413 

Attir, 79 

Ainf, 237 

Avjch, El, 29, 70, 74, 217 

Anion, 130 

Auranitis, 362 

Auicalii, River, 358' 

AvJm, 136 

'Awcrtah, 222 

Ayd, 236 

Ai/d-d-Mit/th, 62 

Ai/n d Arus, 21 

Ayn Hudhira, 5 

'AynvM, 234, 330 

Ayiin, 330 

Ayun, Sh'ain, 284 

Azal, 57 

Azekah, 61, 142 

Azem, 29 

Azmaveth, 150 

Aztaon, 13, 14 

Aznotli-Tabor, 322 

Azotus, 42 

' Azzali, 36 

JJaalah, 101 
Baalath, 23, 70 
Baal-Gad, 332, 409 
Haalllernion, 335 
Baal-Meon, 410 
Baal Peor, 408 
IJaal I'erazini, 101 
ISaal Taiiiah, 146 
l5aaloth Beer, 23 
IJaal-Hiialislia, 73 
Bahurim, 154 
Baitogabra, 44 
Balah, 31 
Bamoth, 412 
Hainotli Uaal, 409 
lid, oh, HI, 260 
liaiilas, 331 
liana! iyth, 237 
JJashan, 361 
Jiaslikali, U'ndy, 31 
Batanaea, 363 
liallianii/iii, 3t);{, ;{75 
lialli-liahhiiu, 404 
Btaloili, 23 
l?oer, 417 

Beer-Astarotli, 364 
Beer-Baal, 23 
ll,.rii,i; HI, 32 
lUcr laliai-roi, M, 9 
B.eroMi, III 
|{rersli(i)a, 27 
BeeHhtorah, 364 
lieiriit, 357 



Hi iS(tH, -^74 
13cit-Aiain, 7!) 
Ikit-Aiiiln, !)1 
licit- Aldb, W) 
/kit-AiVd, 91 
licit- Ih'.jan, ■}■>, 7;i 
lieit Hl'lo, m 
lid.t-(,'(U, 44 
licit llainniia, 145 
licitiu, 134, 141 
Jieit Jerja, 54 
lieit-J ibrin, 44, 57 
Beit Kdil, 2G(5 
ficitldlum, '289 
Bcitlah'M, '289, '29() 
Beitlij; '6-2S 
Beit Likieh, 70 
Beit Murrch, 151 
ift'i« Ncbulah, 73, 218 
Beit-nimrin, 128, 389 
i^ei^ iVtt^a, 143 
Beit-Nusib, 59 
Btit-Sira, 217 
Beit'-Siir,^ 91 
Bcit-Susin, 31 
iKei< Tmia, 55 
j!^eii; Twi, 69 
Beit-l/mmar, 91 
Beit-'ur-el-foi-a, 142 
Beit-'ur-el-laktn, 142 
/i(ii( Zaia, 395 
Bela, 112 
Bel'Ain, 70 
Bdamek, 200 
Bel Gidda, 332 
i^e^X,-a, 400 
Belled el Foka, 57 
Belus, 201, 340 
Bclvoir Castle, 277 
Bcne-Berak, 70 
Boienatru, 85 
Benjamin, 132 
Beon, 410 
Berachah, 92 
Bered, 8, 30 
Bereikut, 92 
Berothah, 337 
Berothai, 337 
Besor, 31 
Bessun, 327 
Beten, 259 
Bethabara, 128, 390 
Bethanabra, 392 
Beth Anath, 323 
Beth Anoth, 91 
Bethany, 150 
Betharabah, 112, 120, 390 
Bcth-arani, 392 
Betli-Arbel, 301 
Beth Avuilla, 109 
Beth-aven, 134, 130 
Bcth-Baal-jMeon, 410 
Bcth-Birei, 31 
Bethcar, 148 
Beth-Dagon, 55, 73, 343 
Beth-Diblathaim, 410 
Betheel, 30 

Both-Eked, 200 
Bethel, 134 
Beth-Emek, 343 
JJethcr, 101 
Bcthcsda, 192 
Ik'tli-Ezcl, 57 
I5cth-(iainul, .')7I 
Bcth-(iibborini, 57 
Betli-Haccerotij, 93 
Beth Haran, 392 
Bcth-IIogla, 1 13, 119 
Belh-Iloron, 142 
Beth-Jesinioth, 392, 403 
Bothlchcin, 95 
Bethleheni-Eiilnat.'i, 95 
Bethlehem-Zcbuliiii, 289, 296 
Beth Meon,. 410 
Beth-Marcaboth, 31 
Beth-Nimrah (Dead Sea), 128, 

389, 419 
Bethi)hage, 156 
Beth-Pazzor, 285 
Beth-Pelet, 20 
Beth-Peor, 408 
Beth-Rehob, 274, 328 
Bethsaida, 317 
Bethsaida Julias, 317, 320 
Bethsheau, 262, 271 
Beth-sheuiesh, 05, 284, 323 
Beth-Shittali, 230, 275 
Betli-tapi>uah, 85 
Bethul, 30 
Bethulia, 247 
Beth-Zacharia, 86 
Beth-Zur, 91, 92 
Betogabra, 44, 57 
Betogabi'i, 44 
Betonim, 390 
Bezek, Bezkah, 73, 239 
Bezer, 410 
Bezetha, 105, 170 
Bileam, 200 
Billiah, 31 
Bireh, 180 
Birein, el, 32 
Bir-es-Seba, 27 
Bir-Eyub, 153, IG'2, 201 
Birket-Israil, 192 
Birkel-Mamilla, 195 
Birket-Sidtdn, 195 
Bir-Tebes, 281 
Bithron, 389 
Bittir, 101 
Bizjothah, 29 
Blanche-Garde, 45, 40 
Bohau, Stone of, 120 
Bostra, 375 
Bostrcnus, River, 358 
Bozez, 139 
Bozkath, 54 
Bozov, 416 
Bozrah, 372 
Bozrah (Edom), 375 
Buk(t'(i, 324 
Bukei'a, d, 101 
Burak, el, 94 
Busaireli, 370 



Busrali, 370 
Butneh, 390 
Buttauf, Plain of, 301 

Cabbon, 54 
Cabul, 2S9, 342 
Ctesarea, 75 
Cajsarea Philippi, 331 
Caiffa, 259 
Cdin Yckid, 84 
CalliiThoe, 105, 403 
Calvaiy, 206 
Camon, 3(37 
Caiia (of Galilee), 297 
Canatha, 274, 370 
Capernaum, 315 
Cd'phar Saba, 74 
Caphtor, Caphtorim, 17 
Carmel, Mt. of, 251 
Carmel (Judah), 84 
Cedron, 55 
Chabovj; 403 
Charasliim, 73 
Chephar-haammonai, 138 
Chephirah, 141 
Cherethitos. 10 
Cherith, 131 
Chesalon, 102 
Chesil, 30 
(Jhcsnlloth, 281 
Chezil>, 58 
Chinncrcth, 309 
<Jhinncieth, t^ea of, 304 
Chinneroth, 305 
Ch:sloth-Tabor, 281 
Chittai, 307 
Clioraslian, 59 
Churazin, 318 
Chozoba, 91 
Colonia, 151 
Corntnona, 251 
Conldlcl (laruii/elt, 3 
Coruie, 221 

Dabbaslictli, 300 
Dabuiath, 281 
f)ahr. 120 
Dabsheh Kh., 300 
Dalinanutlia. 31 1 
Damascus, 274 
Damascus (iatu, 179 
Datiiiih, Jixr, 235, 328 
Daiiii'tii, H2 
Dan, 35 

Dan, Laish, :!;iO 
Danjaan, 342 
D.iii'iiali, SI 
Diiiuna, 312 
/Ian 1/(1.11, Kh., 342 
Ihir'alii. Ill, 3S9 
Diukli, I4ti, 21(1 
l)ih)k-. Till, 343 
David, City of, 1(11 
David, Tomb of, 202 
David, Tower of, 173 
Ihiul. Sill., 105 
Dubir, 81, 80, 120 

Debir (Gilead), 385 
Decapolis, 273 
Bar, 383 

Dclr el Aashek, 61 
Deir Anan, 301 
Ddr-Bafut, 241 
Dcir-Duhbdn, 62 
Beir Eban, 65 
Ddr-Shum, 323 
Dehiydt, Kh., 410 
Der'a, 370 
Dhdhcrlych, 81, 86 
Dhdb, 22 
Dhiban, 415 
Dhullaiiii, 23 
Dlab, Tuvmyl-d, 276 
Dibbin, 329,' 385 
Diblath, Dibl, 328 
Dibon (Judah), 22 
Dibon (Moab), 396, 415 
Dilian, 54 
Dimnah, 298, 415 
Dimon, 415 
Dimonali, 22 
Diociesarea, 297 
Dion, 274 
Diosjiolis, 73 
Docus, 133 

Dome of the Rock, 194 
Domch, 85 
Dor, 75 
Dothan, 246 
Double Gate, 188 
Dra'a, 110 
Dragon Well, 179 
Di'hba, Wadi/cd, 112 
Dv.buridi, 281 
Dumah, 85 
Dung Gate, 179 
Diira, 85 
Durubli, 337 

Kiwi, 222, 228 

Ebdis, 55 

Ebcn, 65 

Ebenczor, 148 

Eb.Kla, 13 

Ed, 235, 401 

Eden-Beth-Hanan, 143 

Eder, IC, 22 

liilh'iii., 3(19 

i'Mrei, 325, 367 

Kdrei (Bashan), 362, 3()9 

lOglon, 53 

Hhmir, Wail II, 364 

KUroii, 41 

Klali, Valley of, 46, M* 

AV •.//, 404 

/-;/ 'Azin; 222 

EUtalaii, 404 

Kleph, 151, 1!I4 

/','/( ullitmitoUs, II, 57 

Kilo, (l'.» 

Klon, (19 

Kltelvoh, 70 

Kltelxon, 91 

El Tolad, 30 




Elusa, 8 
Emims, 371 
Kiiiinaus, 10.'? 
KininauH Nicupolis, 73 
Knam, ()7 
Eiidor, 270, 280 
r.nilfn; 280 
En-eglaim, 110 
Kn Ettain, 152 
En^aniiini, (>7, ISO, 265 
Eu-gcdi, 8, 113 
En Haddali, 285 
En Hakkore, C7 
En Hazor, 322 
En Mishpat, 8 
Hit N(iur((,h, 284 
En-Rogcl, 153, 190, 201 
En-Sheuiesh, 121, 154 
Ephes-dammim, 62 
Ephraini, 137, 214 
Ephraim, City of, 13S 
Ephraiin, Mt., 215 
Epliratah, 95 
Epliron, 137 
'EnimKh., 102 
Erthama, Wadi/, 10 
Eriocis Ebeirig, 4 
Esdraelon, Plain of, 262 
EsdM, 42 
Esek, IS 
Eshcol, 89 
Eshean, 85 
Eshtaol, 64, 66 
Eshtenioa, 80 
Esna, 67 
Etam, 66, 93 
Ether, 59 
Ezion Geber, 4 
'Ezzii/ah, 351 

Falaik, Nahr, 237 
Far'ah, Wady, 234, 389 
Faraun, 238 
Farriyeh, 284 
Fer'aia, 247 
Ferrah, Wadij, 237 
Fcshkhah, 113 
Fik; 321 
Fik; Wady, 321 
Fikrch, 105 
Fikreh, Wady, 12 
Fountain Gate, 179 
Frank Mountain, 93 
FukiVa, Jehcl, 269 
Fureide'is, Jebel, 93 
Fusail, 130 

Gaash, Hill, 240 
Gabatlia, 83 
Gad, 386 

Gadara, 274, 321, 380 
Galeed, 379 
Galilee, 289, 303 
Gallim, lo5 
Gamala, 321, 364 
Gantn, 44 
Gath, 44, 57 

ikdh llepher, 298 
Gath llimmon, 70, 274 
GaulanitiK, 362 
Gaza, 36 
(iazara, 218 
c;el)a, 140, 149 
(iebal, 337 
(Jcbatha, 29{) 
Gebiiii, 15() 
Gcdelali, 145 
Godcvoth, 55, (il 
Gedcrthaiiii, 61 
Gcdor, 17 
Gehenna, 152 
Ge-Hinnoiii, 152 
Geliloth, 121 
Genath, 176 

Genncsaret, l^akc of, 305 
Gennesaret, Plain of, 311 
Gerar, 17, 18 
Gerasa, 274, 385 
Gerash. See Jerash. 
Gergesa, 320 
Gerizim, 222, 229 
Geshur, 368 
Gethsemane, 204 
Gezer, 216, 217 
Ghot; El, 107 
Glior cs Sajk/i, 419 
Ghorab, Ash-el, 276 
Ghurab, Wady, 101 
Ghurra, El, 26 
GImrvAidi'L, 105 
Ghuwcin (El), 80 
Gkmoeir (El), 311 
Ghuzzc/i, 40 
Giah, 145 
Gibbethon, 70 
Gibeah, 148 

Gibeah of Phinehas, 222 
Gibeah of Saul, 148 
Gibeon, 137, 143 
Gihon, Pool of, 195 
Gilboa, 269 
Gilead, 377 
Gilgal, 119, 241 
Giloh, 79 
Gimzo, 73 
Ginaea, 265 
Gisardus Mons, 218 
Giscala, 322 
Gitta Hepher, 298 
Gittaini, 141 
Golan, 3(i2 
Goliath's Castle, 177 
Golden Gate, 187 
Gomorrah, 108 
Goplma, 138 
Goshen, 80 
Gozan, 388 
Gubla, 337 
Gur, Ascent of, -liiii 

Haaiieni, 80 
Habfik, 83 
Habin, Wad//, 410 
Habor, 403 ' 



Hachilah, Hill, 85 

Hculwlah, 24 

Hadad Rimmon, 248 

Hadashali, 55 

Hadattali, 24 

Hadid, 73 

Hadul, 61 

Hadithch, 73 

Hajr el Asbah, 120 

Halah, 388 

Halak, Mount, 7, 333 

Halhul, 91 

Hali, 259 

Ilainah, 3(50 

Haniatli, 333, 359 

Haniiiioiii, Wddi/, 301 

Hamhulm, 313 

Jlmnmani ez Ztrka, 411 

Hainiiiath, 307 

Hammon, 308, 344 

Ilammoth-Dor, 308 

Haiiiniotli, Khirbct el, 23(5 

IlaiiiHii, 344 

Haniiathou, 301 

Hai)hraiiii, 284 

Hara, 388 

Ilaram eah Slurif, 181 

Harushah, 240 

Hares, 240 

Hareth, 59 

Har, El, 209 

Hdris, 09 

//uW<, 241 

IlnrUh, Wa,h,, 137, 139 

llarod. Well of, 209 

llarosluaii, 327 

Ilarti Ciriniol, 59 

Ilashani/, Itivcr, .J'il 

llasiiioncaii Valley, 172 

IlaWn, 301 

llauraii, 3()2 

llavotli-Jair, 3(57 

JIazanah, Kit,., GO 

Ilazar, 322 

Ilazar-Addali, 13, 14 

Hazariiii, 14 

Ilazar-yiizar, 31 

llazerotli, 4, 13, 22 

Ilazczoii Tamar, s, 1 1:5 

Hazor, 23, 24, 145, 218, 325 

llazor-Ainaii, 24 

]lazor-(iaddah, 2(i 

Hazor-Kinah, 22 

llazor-Hlmal, 20 

Ilaz-ziz, 110 

Ildzzar, Kk., 145 

Jlchron, 80 

llcltroii of Ashtr, 313 

lIcllKiIi, 358, :{28 

llclkalli, 259 

Ilelkalli-llaz/ariin, I 13 

Jlcjdicr, 2:',s 

ll»acs, Mount, (■.;», 210 

ilcriiioii, 331 

llcniioii. Little, 2(19 

llciotl, I'alacc of, 175 

Herodium, 93 

Heshbdn, 403 

Heshbon, 403 

Heslunon, 20 

Ilesi, Tell el, 48 

Ilesi, Wadij cl, 417 

Hezekiah, Pool of, 177, 195 

Hezron, 13 

Hluuffa, 259 

Hhora, El, 26 

Hicromax, 302, 380 

Hiniiom, Valley of, 152, 102 i 

Hippicus, Tower of, 173 

Hiiipos, 274 

Hiram's Tomb, 351 . 

Hirii, 289 

Hlrsha, Kh., 73 

Hirineh, 150 

Holon, 79, 410 

Holy Sepulchre, Chiu'ch of, 

Horem, 323 
Horites, 8 

Horinah, 3, 9, 10, 11 
Horonaiin, 393 
Hosah, 351 
Hudhcra, 22 
Iliulhiilr, 20 
Hukkok, 259, 322 
Hulda, Gate, 188 
Huleh, Lake, 324 
Huiiitah, 85 
ffuiun, 328 
llurah, 323 
Ih'.saseh-EL, 110 
IIuwarah-El , 289 

Ibleam, 260 
Jbna, 60 
Ibii liar ilk, (59 
Iba Ibrdk, 70 
Ibzik, 239 
Idalah, 289 
Idhaali, 59, 81 
Ijon, 329 
lim, 29 
Jkml, 281 
frbid, 301, 380 
Iron, 323 
Irpecl, 80, 151 
Ir-SheincHh, 05, 07 
Isawii/ch, 150 
lHh-ti)b, 381 
iHHucliar, 203 
Ithnaii, 23 
Ittah-kazin, 298 
Iturua, 302 

Jaazer, 395 
J.tbbok, 377, 3»5 
Jabesh, 3.s;{ 
Jabcsli tiilcad, .';S2 
JabiiDil, 41, 328 
Jabiicli, II 
.liicub's Well, 232 
Jallh, 70 
.JufTa Oatu, 179 



Jji^Mir, 22 

.luhaz, 417 

.lahazali, 41 S 

.htht, Kli., 7!) 

J a! fin, .'JOl 

Jamnia, 44 

Jcanam, 85 

Janoah, 328 

Janohali, 216, 235 

Japhia, 290 

Japhlcti, 217 

Japlio, 70 

Jarmuth, G4, 206 

Jattir, 7l» 

JavJan, 362 

Jazer, 392 

Jearim, Mount, 102 

Jeb'a, 83, 149 

Jebdta, 296 

Jebcil, 337 

Jebel-Ajlun, 383 

Jebd Attarus, 396 

Jebd Duhy, 270 

Jebd esh Sheikh, 334 

Jebd-es-Sur, 10 

Jebd Fukua, 269 

Jebd FureicUls, 93 

Jebd Jildd, 378 

Jebd Nebbeh, 405 

Jebd Osha, 389, 393 

Jebd Shi'agha, 407 

Jebd et Tur, 282 

JdKl Usdum, 107 

Jefeus, 209 

Jedcid, Wady, 409, 417 

Jcdireh, 61, 145 

Jedna, 81 

Jedur, 362, 305 

Jefat, 300 

Jehenna, 102 

Jehoshaphat (Valley of), 203 

Jehud, 70 

Jeib, River, 105 

Jcib, Wady, 12 

Jeidur, 368 

Jekabzeel, 21 

Jdbon, 273 

Jembeh, 84 

Jemeil, 416 

/e7im, 180, 265 

Jerash, 385 

Jericho, 121 

Jerifeh, Wady, 403 

Jeruf, Wady, IS 

Jerusalem, 100 

Jeshanah, 138 

Jeshua, 26 

Jethlah, 09 

Jetur, 365, 388 

Jeza; 218 

Jezreel, 207 

Jezreel (Judali), 83 

Jezreel, Fountain of, 209 

Jib, LI, 143 

Jildd, 393 

Jiljilia, 241 

Jiphtah, 59, 299, 300 

Jiphtah-d, 299 

Jish, El, 323 Daniieh, 328 

Jogbehah, 372, 395 

.lokdcani, 83 

Jokncaui, 218 

.lokneaiu of Carmcl, 251, 286 

.Joktlieel, 54 

.Joppa, 70 

Jordan, 122 

Jordan, Fords of, 129 

.losci>li's Tomb, 233 

.Joshua, Tomb of, 241 

Jotopata, 300 

Jubeihah, 372, 395 

Judali, clis. 2, 3, 4 

Jufua, 138 

Jurrah, 20 

Jiirrah, El, 41 

Juttah, 83 

Kabur el Yahud, 148 
Kabzcel, 21 

Kadesh Barnca, 3, 8, 13 
Kain, 84 

K(d'at Jahiul, 177 
Kana d Jelil, 297 
Kanah, 344 
Kanah, 344 
Kanah, River, 237 
Karelia, 415 
Karkaa, 13, 14 
Karkor, 372 
Kartan, 323 
Kartar, 298 
Kasimiyeh, Hirer, 352 
Kasr el Yehiul, 128 
A'rtsr d-Besheir, 410 
Katna,, 298 
Kafrah, 55 
Kattatli, 298 
Katunith, 298 
Kebau, 83 
Kedemoth, 414 
Kedes, 320 
Kedesh, 285 
Kedesh-Naphtali, 326 
Kedron, 154, 162 
Kefir, 142 
Kefr Addii, 285 
Kefr 'Ana, 73 
Kefr Chittai, 307 
Kefr Kama, 328 
Kefr Kemia, 297 
Kefr na Hum, 315 
Kefr Saba, 74 
Kcfrah, 277 
Kef rein, 392 
Keilali, 58 
Ki'iinan, 300 
Kdf, Wady, 120 
Kenath, 368, 370 
Kenites, 16 
Knna, 297 
Kerak (Moab), 419 
Kcrak, 307 
Kerazeh, 318 



Kerioth, 372 
Kerioth-Hezron, 24 
Ka-ktmk, Wiulif, 323 
Kesheh, 58 
Kcs/(i, 102 

Kcziz, Valley of, 121 
Kludasah, el, S 
Khiuiiasa, 103 
Khana, Wady, 238 
Kharas, 59 
Khawr el Katdf, 123 
Khelnaah, 30 
Khtrm, 320 
Khiaiii, el, 329 
Khvlil, d, 86 
Khimvbiih, Tdl, 325 
Khureitun, 93 
Kibrotli-Hattaavah, 4 
Kibzaiui, 218 
A'(V(t, 58 
Kinah, 23 
King's Pool, llHi 
Kir, 419 

Kir Ilaraseth, 419 
Kiriathaiin, 413 
Kirjatliaiiii, 413 
Kirjathain, 323 
Kirjatli Arba, S(. 
Kirjatli J?aal, 101 
Kirjatli lluzoth, 413 
Kirjatli Juariin, 101, 151 
Kirjatli Saiiiuili, 81 
Kirjatli .ScplRr, 81 
Kisliioii, 285 
Kislioii, 249, 250, 285 
Kithlish, 54 
Ki troll, 297 
KohUi, El, 85 
Kv.hhU en Sdlckni, 181 
Kv.btiheh, 54 
Kueziheh, 91 
Kulal el IIhxii, 3t)4 
Knlonieh, 151 
Kuiuufdl, 370 
Kv.relttin, 24 
Kuiciyat, 374, 413 
Kurciyeh, 374 
Kuvklel Jiiiah, 102, 151 
KuriyvA, 221 
Knnnul, 84," 258 
K II I'll, C'dHtlc, 342 
K II I'll. SniliiMtfi, 235 
Karn, Waily, 201, 342 
Kinnul), 23 
Kimeih, River, 105 
KiiMn-, HI, 23 
Kiillihiiih, 54 

l.iic.hiKli, 48, 53 
Lull in, 54 
Ijiliiiiaii, 54 
liai.sli,32.s, 33(» 
l>akiiiii, 328 
liaHlia, 413 
Lanliaroii, 30s 
1,11,11 ri III li , 1 1 , 157 
liubaotli, 31 

Lebonah, 221 
Ledddii, 331 
Legio, 249 
Lehi, 07 

Li:hiiun,Wady, 314 
Lejjnn, 249 
Lejah, 302, 300 
Lekeb, 328 
Leklyeh, 80 
Leontes, River, 352 
Libiiah, 00 
Lifta, 195 
Litany, liii'ti', 352 
Livias, 392 
Lod, 73 
Lo Debar, 385 
Lv.bbim, 221 
Ludd, 73, 134 
Lutit, Wadi/, 133 
Luhith, 405 
Lussan, 5, 14 
LvAceiziyeli, 320 
Luz, 330 
Lydda, 73 

Maachah, 375 
Maaclius, 54 
Maarath, 91 
Macluiirus, 412 
Mach] iclab , 88 
Mad Ilk ar, Kli. tn iSlidkli, 
Madihah, 409 
Madin, Kh., 307 
Madinaiinah, 31 , 
Madmen, 410 
Madmenah, 150 
Madoii, 307 
Magdala, 312 
Mil' hair, }Vajly il, 91 
Maliaiiaiiii, 379, 384 
Maliamh-Dan, 00 
Maliaiiiuili, 415 
Mi'iliil, 290 
Mahlv.l, 290 
Mahiuh, 384 
Main, 84, 410 
M'a,i»lili, Wady, 200 
Makaz, 58, 73 
Makkcdali, 55 
Makkv.iit, 54 
Maki'Oii, 135 
Malali, Wady, 113, 275 
Malali, 374 
Malaki, VVa<ly, 92 
Malatlia, 25 
Mahk, Wadii ,1, 200 
Malliiih, 140 
Malik, Wady, 239 
Mai,, ah, 149 
Mill III, 300 
Maiiirc, 20 
Muiiahatli, 140, I 19 
Manasseli, 242 
Maud, XI h, <l , I'M 
Manocho, 149 
Mao II, 84 
Mural ah, 300 



Mdr'axh, riS 
Mardra, Mons, 91 
M(tr Itlli/dx, 'J">S 
M;ire.sliiili, r)8 
Mariamiiu, Tower of, 171 
Mania, Kli., 01 
Marreh, Wad,'/, I'i 
Mar.viha, 1.04 
Miisiidn, 117 
Max/nf)i;if(li, 417 
Matfauali, 417 
Mayin, Vallci/ of, 5 
M'deineli, 416 
Mearah, 352 
Medelw, 409 
Megiddo, 249, 251 
Mehafseh , Qaxur el, 2G 
Me-jarkon, 70 
Mejdel, 55, 312 
Mekenna, Kh., 58 
Mekonah, 58 
Menjah, 415 
Meon, 405 
Mephaath, 414 
Merj Ai/iln, 328 
Merj ibn Omeir, 08 
Mcria, 300 
Merom, 323 
Meroin, Waters of, 324 
Meronoth, 91 
Meroz, 277 
Meshad, El, 298 
Meshnsh, El, 27 
Meshrifth, El, 11, 41, 5t 
Mezer, 206 
Ml'ar, 343 
Michmash, 139 
Michmcthah, 237 
Midbar, 104 
Middin, 113 
Mklyeh, El, 143 
Migdal-El, 312, 323 
Migdalgad, 55 
Migdol, 268 
Mlgron, 135 
Mild, El, 25, 113 
Milh, Wadyel, 251 
Millo, 169 
Minnith, 414 
Minydy, 31 
Minyeh, 408 
Minych, Khan, 315 
Mirabel, 74 
Mird, Kh., 91 
Mird, Kivhi't, 113 
Mirkcd, 84 
Misheal, 260 
Mishor, 400 
MisreiihotliTiiaini, 352 
Mithll'ia, 247 
Mizpah, 379 
Mizpeh, 54, 140 
Mizpeh-Gilead, 381 
Mizzeh, Beit, 151 
MKaur, 412 
Modin, 143 

Mo(/hairiyfh, 352 

Mohrakah, 255 

Mnjih, 105, 403 

Mnkar, 56 

Mokhna, HI, 221, 237 

Moladah, 25 

Moreh, Hill, 263, 270, 277 

Moreli, Oak of, 225, 232 

Morcshetli Gatli, 58 

Moriah, 1()5 

Mozah, 151 

Mnhvffkik, Wad/i, 26 

MiK/hdr, El, 55 

Mnhatd-d-Haj, 417 

Mujedda, Kh., 231, 323 ' 


Mukhmas, 139 

Mar is tan, 167 

Miirrissun, 276 

Mutasxellim, Tell, 249 

Mutluk, Wady el, 66 

Muioeihh, A in, 9 

Naamah, 55 

Nadneh; 55 

Nahlous, 222, 228 

Nahalel, 290 

Nahaliel, 412, 417 

NaJir el 'Allan, 361 

Nahr Falaik, 237 

Nahr Hasbany, 331 

Nahr Herdawil, 342 

Naltr Ibra.hi)ii, 359 

Nahr el Mukatta, 250, 256 

N((.hr Naiiidn, 340 

NiCiineh, Wady, 217 

Nain, 278 

Nakil), 328 

Naphtali, ch. xi 

Nar, Weuly, 154, 162 

Narath, 2i7 

Nazareth Nazirah, El, 291 

Neah, 298 

Neapolis, 226, 228 

Neballat, 73, 218 

Nebi Ayyub, 364 

Nchi Samwil, 146 

Nebo, 110 

Nebo (Benjamin), 143 

Ncgcb, 3, 15, 16 

Neiel, 342 

Nejileh, Tell, 53 

Nekeb, 328 

Neitieireh, 419 

Ncphish, 365, 388 

Nepbtoah, 151 

Netopliali, 79, 100 

Nettif, 79, 100 

Nezib, 59 

Nibshan, 113 

Niuirim, 419 

Nimrim, Wadv, 390 
, Nob, 150 
i Nobah, 370 

Nodab, 365, 388 
! Nopha, 414 



Olives, Mount of, 204 

Omar, Mosqtie of, 183 

Ono, 73 

Ophel, 10)4, 170 

Ophni, 138 

Ophrah, 137 

Ophrah of tlie Abiezrites, •^4tj 

Oreb, Rock, ;i7(> 

Onna, B, 12,h 

Oi-iiini), 374 

Orontes, River, 359 

Osha, 389 

Padan-aram, 379 
Palaetyrus, 345 
Paneas, 332 
Parah, 140 

Paraii, Wilderness of, 3 
Pella, 272, 383 
Peniel, 379 
Penuel, 379, 389 
Peor, 414 
Phasaelis, 130 
Phasaelis, Tower of, 174 
Philadelphia, 274, 398 
Philippolis, 374 
Philistia, ch. ii. 
Phoenicia, 33(5 
Pirathon, 238 
Pisgah, 110, 405 
Psephinus, Tower of, 177 
Ptolemaia, 340 

Qadccs, Ayn, 5, 0, 9 
Qddees, Wiuiy, 7 
Qadayrat, 14 
Qasaymeh, 14 
Qaraiyeh, 14 

Quarantania, Mount, 127 
Quseib, Wddy, 21 

Rabas, 284 
Jiahba, 418 

Rablwh, 101, 380, 390 
Rabl)ath-Aiiniioii, 398 
Rabbath-M<>al>, 418 \ 
Rabbith, 2S4 
Jiticlul's Tonil), 99 
Jiafat, 80, 151 
Jiiiliiiln, Wiitlii, 1(>2 
lii'ilinh, A',-, r. ' 
Rakkiith, 307 
JOiMiit, Tell n; 70 
Itakkoii, 70 
/{>'in,, /■:,; 11 5 
RHiiiali, Mr., 344 
HaiiiHtliaiiii /idjiiiini, 140 
KHiiiath-Mi/.prii, 382 
I{aiiiiith-Nt'K*^l), 23 
Hdiiirh, JOiiiid, 90, 322 
J{<in,<l (Naphtali), 322 
KfiiiinUi, 2t;tl 
Ituinnih-Ciilcnd, 391 
i(a|iliaiia, 274 
RttH.(I.AI>iad, XV,, 344 
Hn.ti/-A(ii, 74 
UnH-Fixli kilt ill, 110, 405 
Uan-nn-Uuliiiia, 342 

Ratem^t, Wady, Abou, 5 
Rebbo, 101 
Jiehah, 274 
Reliob, 274, 343 
Rehoboth, 19 
lit i infra, 395 
Rekoni, 151 
lieiiiuiutiii, 31 
Reincth, 200 
Reimuoii, 31, 298 
Reiniiion Metlioar, 298 
Rt'phaiiu, 5, 101, 371 
Reuben, 401 
Rilia, Er, 120 
Riiuiiion, 32, 134, 137 
Rithiuah, 5, 10 
Robinson's Arch, 190 
Rogelini, 385 
Ruad, 337 
Rv.Uia, 101 
Ruhudiyiih, 314 
Rubuti, 101 
Ruhilbeh, 19 
Rujv.iti Selamch, 24 
Ruinnianiim, 133 
Ruiiiindnch, 248, 298 
Ruiiimon, 137 

Saba, St., 154 

Hufah, cs, 13 

iid/cd, 322 

iSajiih, 419 

iS(i(jhir, 103 

Sahtiii ej Jaulan, 304 

Saida, 854 

Sair, 85 

Satydhddi, 328 

ISakhra, 187 

iiukiU, 239, 388 

Salcali, 302, 373 

SaU'Ui, 209, 270 

Stdiiii, 233 

Salt, Ks, 384, 394 

Salt, City of, 113 

Samaria, 243 

Suiiiaritans, iiioderii, 231 

Saiiif/t, Kli., 55 

Sdiiiiitir, 239 

Saiisainiali, 31 

Sun III', 217 

Sajdiir, 55 

Sarcjita, 352 

Saiid, 301 

S'dirili, 20, 27 

Scoims, 1(12 

ScyihojMilis, 273 

Sibiulii, 3, 10 

S('l>a.ste, 214 

Sibbdi, 117 

Sibkiin, 21 

Sibuxliyili, 214 

Sccaciili, 1 13 

Soclm, 140 

Scf'vriih, 290 

Si'il «/ /Hlbih, 81 

Sell I) n, 219 

Seir, 0, 103 



Seir, Mount, 102 

Seir (diU'Aid), 3<)() 

Stir, Wtulii, :5!)'2 

Sclii llaiiiiiiuhlekotli, 92 

ISi'Jdiii, H'adi/, 

ISdidiith, JiiiJKiii, 21 

SetltH-, G8 

iSemakk, Wcu(i/, ."^20 

Semua, 80 

Scnch, i:i\), 334 

Seoii, 284 

Sci)plioiis, 2!)7 

Serf, A'.s, 6 

Shaalbiiii, (58 

Shaaraim, 31, 61 

Shafat, 150 

iihagkoor, W(i<li/, 33!) 

yiiahaziiiiah, 284 

IShaib, Waify, 390 

Shalcm, 233 

UShauui, Kh., 323 

Shamir, 79, 239 

Sharaim, 01 

yiiaron, ch. ii. 

Sharulien, 32 

yheba, 24 

Sliebam, 414 

Sliebarim, 138 

Shechem, 222 

Shecheiu, Plain of, 221 

Shef-Amar, 299 

Sheiiia, 24 

Shell, 148 

Shenir, 334 

Shephelah, 34 

Shcrl'ah, Tell exh, 32 

Sherlnt-tl-Mandhur, River, 362 

Shihan, 418 

Shilior Libnath, 339 

Shikroii, 44 

Shilhiiii, 31 

Shiloh, 219 

Shiloali, 197 

Shilta, 09 

Shimron, 290 

Shin, 9 

Shittiin, Plain of, 129 

Shoclioh, 62, 81 

Shual, Land of, 138 

Shunem, 270, 277 

Shur, 10 

Shutneli, 18 

Shutta, 236 

Slmioeikch, 146 

Si'dgha, 407 

Sibina, 414 

Siddini, Vale of, 111 

Sidon, 354 

SU-keh, 113 

Silatha, 69 

SilLa, 169 

Siloam, 201 

Siloam, Inscription, 199 

Siloam, Pool of, 197* 

Simeon, 16 

Simid, Ex, 85 

Simsim, 31 

Slinuni//('h, 290 

Sion, 334 

Si.vdvi., Wiufy, 32 

Sirah, 89 

Sirioii, 334 ' 

Sirisia, 73 

Sitnah, 18 

Socoh, 62, 81 

Sodoni, 108 

Solomon, Tem])le of, ch. vi 

Solomon's Porch, 194 

Solomon, Pools of, 94, 152, 195 

Sdmerah, 79 

Sorek, 65 

St. Ste2)hen's Gate, 186 

Sudfir, 55 

Subeibeh, 333 

Succoth, 239, 276, 388 

Sufa, 396 

Sulem, 277 

Sulkhad, 373 

Sumah, 151 

Sumia, 414 

Sumrah, 130 

Sumt, W(uhj, 02 

Sura, 344 

Sur, Jebel-es, 10 

Surafend, 352 

Sicrah, 64 

Surdet, 138 

Surtabch, Kurn, 235 

Susich, 84 

Suweikeh, 62, 81 

Suweinit, Wady, 139 

Sycaminiim, 259 

Sychar, 228 

Taanach, 247 
Taaiiath Shiloh, 237 
Ta'annik, 248 
Tabaha-Fahil, 383 
Tabbath, 275 
Taberah, 4 
Tabighah, El, 315 
Tabor, 282 
Tafsah, 222 
Tahtim-IIodshi, 395 
Taiyebeh, 381 
Tal'at el Heith, 405 
Tnl'at es Sufa, 407 
Tana, 237 
Tanach, 248 
Tanais, 88 
Tantura, 75 
Tappuah, 67, 237 
Tapunah, 83 
Tardhlous, 337 
Taralah, 151, 389 
Tarichaea, 307 
Teiasir, 238 
Teim, Wady Et, 332 
Tekoah, 92 
Tekua, 92 
Telaim, 28 
Tcl'at ed Damm, 120 
Telein, 23 
Tell, et, 136 



Tdl A, -ad, 16 
Tell Ashtereh, 364 
Tell Athar, 00 
TdhiyVal JUjvIkh, 120 
Tdl Mnk, 343 
Tdl inhhin, 329 
Tdl-d-Ilajar, 136 
Tdl Harrak, 325, 327 
Tdl Hnznr, 218 
Tdl-d-Hcsi, 49 
Tdl Hum, 317 
Tdl Hum, Wady, 319 
Tdl-d-Jcztr, 218 
Tdl d Kabm, 218 
re/i Kadi, 330 
re« Knim-iln, 251 
2'c/; Kassis, 257 
Te/^ A'c'^cs, 2S5 
Tdi A'l.wn, 285 
TeW Kuraihch, 325 
Te^i ei Ma ajtrah, 275 
Tcii A/rti/i, 84 
rei^ Moqhyftr, 120 
Tc/i Nejlleh, 53 
T<>« Jidniah, 392 
Te/i cs Savial; 159 
2'c// Sarein, 236 
7't7^ fs/i iihu(ii'i)', 407 
Terebinth, Valley of, 151 
Thalah, 237 
Thtbez, 239, 2S1 
77//;////., AV/V, 73 
Tliiiuiiatha, ()9 
Tiberias, Hea of, 305 
Tiberias, 309 
Tibnak, (Ri, 83 
Tlhnek, 69, 83, 240, 382 
Tllmin, 342 
7'//t, Desert of, 2, 3 
Tiinnah, 83 
Tiiiniath, OC, 69 
Tiiunath-hcres, 240 
Tiiiuiath-Serali, 210 
TipliHah, 222 
Tin' I,, 216 
Tirzali, 216 
Tishbi, 338 
T(jb, 381 
Tojdiol, 417 
Tovla, //, 30 
Trachoiiitis, 3(>2, 3(i5! (;at.(!, 188 
'rripoljs, .".37 
Tidxiihli, 305, 309 
Tubils, 239 
Tiibieni, 381 
TidmkhiU /-'iiliil, 275 
TuO'i'ih, 85 
Tutlht, 417 

Tvhil d lull, 148, 149 
Tidlfil Xa.lira/i, 275 
Tnthiza, 238 
Tiiwiutl il Diidi, 27t'> 
/ Tyrojiifnii, I(i3 
TyniH, Tyre, 314 
Tzaftft, 12 
Tzor, 344 

Umm d Amad, 200 
UnuH d Areis, 84 
Umm 'Asheen, 9 
Umm ed Deraj, 153 
Umm d Jemal, 374 
Umm Jina, 67 
Umm Keis, 380 
f^j/j/zi Lahis, 53 
^/■/i//,i 7'()6rt, 100 
Unimah, 344 
Umm er Rumniaim, 32 
i/r/as, r<t/ici/ o/", 93 
Urusalem, 208 
Uzzem-Sherah, 217 

Valley, Gate of the, 179 
Virgin Fountain, 196 

Wi'deli, Wady, 417 
Water Gate, 179 
Wezar, 269 

Xaloth, 281 
Xystus, 169 

Yahts, Wady, 239, 383 

Yafa, 70, 290 

Yahvd, 241 

Yahud Kh.d, 101 

Yaluk, 322 

Yalo, 68 

I'rt/ua, 328 

Yanukh, 328 

l'a/i»n, 235 

Yapn, 72 

Yarmuk; 64, 364, 380 

Y'arun, 323 

I'ft.'j/)', 239 

}>/>/«, 266 

Yehnah, 44 

Yehudiyeh, 70J 

Ycmma, 328 

FfirAvi, 260 

Yeahva, 64, 66 

l'M^-t7t, A'/t., 84 

Rt^a, 83 

Zaanaim, 327 
Zaanainmiui, 327 
Zaanan, 55 
Zak; 61 
Zakii rl ifa, fU 
Zaliixm, Mount, 229 
Zanoah Zanila, 67 
Zan()ah, Ztniiita, 84 
Zaphon, 389 
;^u/vf, 411 
Zaroali, (')4 

Zar(!(l, Valloy of, 417 
Zarcpliath, 352 
Zantli Sliahar, 411 
Zarotan, 236 
Zartaiiah, 236, 275 
Zartliau, 23r),^75 
Zehad, ;^«V>'.//f, 2!)6 
y.d>alah, Kh., 31 
/o))oini, 108, 112 



/ol)ulun, ;iSl5, -JIH) 

/ccl), 27(i 

/.,lur,h:, IL, 153 

/uliUi, 151 

Zclziih, IO(t 

ZciniUiiiiii, 1:50 

/ciiiiii, 55 

Zcpluith, 11, 1-' 

Zov, 307 

Zorc(l;i, 13S 

Zorciatli, 230, 275 

Zi riv, "207 

Ztrku-M(un, 105, 377, ■(().;, 

Zirka-Ma'iii, Wiulii, 417 

Z( niakd, 44 

Z;V(/7(,, 110, 407 

Zib, 341 

Ziddim, 307 


Zidou, 354 

ZildiiK, 30 
Ziluiii, 210 
Zin, 3, 12, 13 
Zioii, Mount, 102 
Ziur, .S5 

Zii)li, ;^//; S4, .S5 
Zipli, Judiih, 23 
Zi/,. CI iff, 110 
Z/:a, 4 IS 
ZoHli, ss 

ZoHi", no, 112, 407 
Zoliclctli, 153 
ZctphiiH, 405 
Zoi-;d), 04, 05 
Ziiluiltkak, 3J 
Zuni, 345 
Zaictlrah, 24 

rilE END 

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